We just finished a set of presentations, not too bad in my opinion. Of course, those presentations will now find their intended “audience” and we shall see how good they actually are, not just what I think of them. Regardless, it should be fun. No matter where you are on the startup process, it’s always good to fine-tune your story. For us, what we have to share is starting to really have some critical mass.
Our audience, by and large, is Silicon Valley types, either VCs or angel investors. Even if they are not literally from Silicon Valley, they tend to be highly influenced by this tech community and have many of the same bewildering behaviors. Nothing wrong with that per se, but we are not from Silicon Valley. We do not know the secret handshake. So we have had to research this culture much like an anthropologist would study a new civilization. As a matter of fact, this very blog is a result of that research. It is apparently important that a blog is written to better explain the team and what we do. It’s a thing. We are not arguing or debating the merits, to do so is to certainly lose, best to follow the natives lead.
If you are going to raise interest, you better have a roadmap, not just for your product, but also for how you are going to get it done and with whom. The longer you have a good roadmap the better. Oftentimes, the roadmap is focused on the product, it is natural to do so but your plan better encompass the business, not just the tech. Live with it, review it all the times. I know it sounds like a common sense approach but many fail in this area. With a roadmap, you can see where you were a while back, how challenges affect you and by looking at older versions, where you wanted to be and how things have changed in the interim.
Now that we understand the process and the culture better, we are hoping for some success in our efforts. While all this non-tech stuff can be frustrating, there is a reason for the process. Respect the process and know where you are going at all times. Being unprepared is death in this arena. The nerd herd is not kind and inclusive regardless of the image they try to portray. Be aware of this, do your homework and make it simple. The first impression has to be good and put lots of pictures in it. It’s a shallow world in general and the VC/ investor community is not above that. Seriously. You could have brilliant technology and never get a call because you did not grab their interest in the first minute (or less). So don’t think research paper, think talking dogs or Clydesdales like the Budweiser commercials, nice tie into the fabled unicorn ($1 bn company valuation) in the Silicon Valley world. Maybe a Clydesdale wants to be a unicorn, so it must go on a journey of self-discovery! I kid you not it’s like that. Think of it as a test, we do and we hope to pass.