It has been interesting and insightful to meet, and pitch to a group of people who's motivation is so unique that it is BASIC and PLAIN. Usually in my career, meeting with a visionary at a media company, or account person, or a C level expert in this or that, but, it was always centered around "landing the deal, and helping the company acheive some objective, creating a win, or just plain selling a idea."
Not with the VC gang.
It's all about 3 main things.
Money, Ego, and Power.
That is it in a nutshell. It has required me to back up, and reassess how I deal with this "subset" of people. The characteristics are funny in an early stage investor. I have been promised the moon....contacts, money, office space, programmers......all with the understanding that each time I nod my head in acceptance of how great it seems, to them, (they think I'm actually saying..."hey, I'm a sucker and willing to give you more equity in my company, because you are just a great guy, and have MY interest in mind.")
I pride myself on being a quick learn. And, from what I've learned on a good number of meetings with VC's is that -- a good VC is more of a psychotherapist, and can sniff out BS faster than you can say, "ham radio." They watch body language, answers to questions, and HOW you answer questions.
Do you know what MY fastest and most common response has been in VC meetings in the past 2 months?
"I'm sorry I do not know...."
I will build a world class company. I will create value. But, after the past 2 months, I have been educated in the world of Venture Capitalists -- and I'm very proud to say, "I came away from this experience richer, for having to refine my skills of selling, selling me, my idea, and my concept, to a group of like minded people with ONE thing in mind."
Hitting a monetary grand slam.
And, I'm proud to say - I made the All-Star baseball team every year growing up from the age of 7 up to high school -- and I never hit a home run. I played consistent shortstop, batted third in the lineup, probably hit over .500 -- and won a few tournament MVP's.
I never hit a home run. I just tried to be consistent and stay within my swing, my abilities, and myself.
When you pitch to a VC do you go for the home run, or just be yourself?
I have chosen to be myself, be who I am and just tell my concept, and my story.
If I am lucky enough to get a VC who will actually HELP build the company, that is even better. Until then, I'll keep trying to hit singles, and hope that a guy like Pete Rose (who hit more singles than anyone) can be "valued" in the VC world.
I found this post by Guy fascinating its called "The Top Ten Lies of Venture Capitalists."