No, No, No, No, No, Yes.

It’s not fun to get a NO, really not a pleasure.

CEOs, entrepreneurs, and creative people get all kinds of NOs.

In the beginning I thought every NO was the end of the world, a NO with a big exclamation point!

No exclamation

I might have given up my dream. A big mistake.

The reality is different because NO is a part of life. Usually, NO comes with a comma.

No comma

My first NO was just a standard NO.

Then I got a very personal NO comma, “sorry”
NO comma, “keep trying”
NO comma, “holding one”
NO comma, “holding two” [in reference to cartoons sent to The New Yorker]

As in life—
NO comma, “we don’t have the time.”
NO comma, “we don’t have the budget.”
NO comma, “can we see another option?”

We have to examine, to explore, to discover which NO comma we are dealing with.

There are many types of NO commas.
The first is the dramatic NO comma which drives us to work even harder. Then we have the inspirational NO comma which makes us rethink. Finally there’s the most challenging NO comma which leads us to change and go in a different direction.

NO comma has great power.
Every NO comma is a treasure.
Every NO comma is a great opportunity to search for the next YES.

Actually, almost every NO comes with a question mark.

No question



I’ve developed a relationship with NO.
I hug it, I embrace it and I nurture it. I care for it. I’ve even grown to love it.

Resistance is good. Resistance in innovation, in hi-tech, in art, etc. is great.

For me, NO is a sign, a green light and not a red light.
NO is the beginning of a YES.

Born in 1963, Gideon Amichay is an Israeli ad exec (the Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R agency), cartoonist (The New Yorker), and teacher (School of Visual Arts).

You can listen to Gideon tell the story of how he got his cartoons published in The New Yorker in this talk.

Gideon’s book is available to pre-order on

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January 6, 2014


Usually, NO comes with a comma.

Oh my, thank you for this post David. Because hearing No is such a hard thing at times to deal with. Going to watch the Ted talk a bit later.

Oh, this is a great formulation! And I agree with Theo there: a chain of NOs ending with a YES is a progress, so it’s much better than being tempted by a long-lasting YESes and then shut suddenly with a single NO. Thank you for the post, David!

That’s really reassuring, especially when starting out. It’s so important to not get discouraged, I guess it’s a matter of believing in your abilities and your product and not take things to personally. Nice simple bit of typography there as well, cheers.

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