I was the worst coder in the room
One essential lesson I have learned over and over in life is that it is futile to compete on a metric that you cannot possibly be the best at. Don’t compete with your second best arsenal. You need to find the edge that nobody else will think of, or where nobody else can be. If the competition can outspend you, outmanouever them. If the guy at the bar is better looking, be funnier. And if most of the guys in the room have PhDs in CS, go for hardware?