Don’t pitch the product

Johan Santana on May 17, 2008
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Having seen this come up a couple of times over the last couple of weeks, I felt it was worth blogging it.

Don’t give the product sales pitch when you’re pitching an early stage investor.

An investor presentation, although technically a sales presentation (you want the investor to buy equity in your company), should not be a product sales presentation.

Yes, we want to understand the product you have built or are building, but if it’s 100% about the product (or even 70% about the product), it’s hard to tell the story that will convince the VC that this is an exciting team and market opportunity, with the right product at the right time.  Getting bogged down in features and functions is going to take the investor’s eye off the vision and into the weeds.

There’s plenty of time to get into the weeds once you have the investor’s interest, but not in a first meeting.

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