Guy Kawasaki on Innovation

5 Jun

How to Pickup a VC

How to Pickup a VC Many entrepreneurs ask me what is the best way to open a pitch to potential investors. I’ll answer that question at the end of this posting, but first let me tell you the ten worst opening lines that you can use:

  1. You say: “I’m bright and ambitious.” Investor thinks: “That’s a relief because I usually invest in stupid and lazy people.”
  2. You say: “I’m a blue sky thinker.” Investor thinks: “You have no business model, and you don’t know how to ship.”
  3. You say: “I don’t know much about your firm, but I thought I’d contact you anyway.” Investor thinks: “You’re a lazy idiot–why are you wasting my time?”
  4. You say: “I love to think of new ways to solve problems.” Investor thinks: “Is this a high-school science fair?”
  5. You say: “I have lots of great ideas, but I have trouble figuring out which one to try. Let me tell you about a couple.” Investor thinks: “I want to know which idea you’re going to kill yourself trying to make successful, not which ideas have crossed your idle mind.”
  6. You say: “I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur.” Investor thinks: “I’ve always wanted to be a professional golfer. So what if you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?”
  7. You say: “I’m sure you are aware of the growing need for security. Web 2.0, Open Source, whatever.” Investor thinks: “If you’re sure I’m aware, why are you telling me you’re sure I’m aware.”
  8. You say: “If you sign an NDA, I’ll tell you my idea.” Investor thinks: “You are clueless. How can you not know that venture capitalists don’t sign NDAs?”
  9. You say: “The last time I contacted you, I…” Investor thinks: “I’m going to fire my secretary for putting this clown on my calendar again.”
  10. You say: “My goal is to build a world-class company.” Investor thinks: “How about you ship and sell the first copy before we talk about world-class anything?”

Now you know what not to say. Here’s what you should say:

“This is what my company does…”

It’s that simple. What you’re trying to do is get potential investors to fantasize about how your product or service will make a boatload of money. They can’t fantasize if they don’t know what you do. And they don’t want to be your friend, mother, or psychiatrist until they understand what you do, so cut the crap and explain what you do.

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One Response to “Guy Kawasaki on Innovation”

  1. Ravindra Pushker August 20, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    I guess time to update.

    World of failed people is getting bigger and bigger.

    Ravindra Pushker

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