Near-Miss Rejections

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with two entrepreneurs working on interesting ideas. They’re in totally different spaces, they’re doing different things, and they don’t know each other, but they’re thinking along the same lines. Both have identified a huge pool of people who apply for something but are rejected. Think applicants for loans, school admission, jobs, etc. Most institutions don’t take any further action with respect to the people they’ve rejected.

Both founders think that applicants who were rejected, but just barely, represent a big opportunity. They were near-miss rejections. These people were motivated enough to take the time to apply, which shows a strong desire. The problem is they often don’t know specifically why they were rejected and what they need to do to get approved. These founders are betting that if the reason for the rejection is clearly explained and the additional steps required to get approved articulated, these applicants can be approved.

Instead of lenders, schools, employers, etc. spending tons of money and energy attracting new applicants, they could nurture the near misses, which would probably have a higher return on investment and close rate. Or that’s the assumption.

Both founders are bright and passionate about their respective spaces. I think they’re on to something that could be big. I can’t wait to see how they progress and what kind of feedback they get from consumers.