There seemed to be some confusion last night in our venture forth class that VF is a class that is about making presentations. I wanted to send a note to clear up the intention, and make sure there is an understanding about the pedagogical model that we’re using for VF.
Why do we use the investor pitch and have you present it?
The investor pitch is used as a diagnostic for the venture- a diagnostic that I have used across my career from the early-idea start up to the billion dollar firms that I have built skunkworks for… a diagnostic that typically illustrates where the greatest focus for the next step is in the venture’s history.
Many entrepreneurs say to me, “I am not looking for investment.” One thing is clear- every entrepreneur needs to think like an investor… even if they are not going after outside investment… yet many entrepreneurs don’t adopt this discipline to prepare themselves as if they were considering an investment in their own companies. This is a blind spot that many entrepreneurs have… and what’s worse… if the entrepreneur hasn’t prepared themselves for this personal review, they’re certainly not ready to be reviewed by their peer entrepreneurs- who have insight that can help over come blindness… or to put it even stronger, in getting other’s insight Alan Kay says this: “Another point of view is worth 40 IQ points”. The secondary value of preparing an investor pitch is to quickly have others, following the “literacy” of the investor pitch review by one’s peer entrepreneurs.
Its with this in mind that I suggest, as we enter into the next week of pitch reviews and pitches… don’t think that you’re focused on the presentation, but the diagnostic of going through this practice. All of your ventures can grow, and grow quicker, especially with the input of more eyes to help you debug what is slowing your venture down.