There are too many people telling stories as though a story alone and a big stupid number are going to sell an idea. I’ve been at the pitch nights, with their poor selection of crisps and poorer selections of startups, and I’ve heard the same drivel.

  • “Meet Sarah. She’s time-poor.”
  • “It’s a 400 billion dollar global market.”
  • “Jon doesn’t give a shit.”

It’s the same, repeated and repeated, because at some point in the development of their pitch, these funding hopefuls have been told that they need to tell stories, and they need to have big numbers.

And so when they’re selling their company to an investor, they keep pushing the same crap. A story about a user, and the size of the global market based on their industry, without any real information about how much of that market is even applicable to their product offering.

None of this is real information, and none of it is valuable. Whenever I review a pitch deck, I keep finding it complicated with mindless crap, and whenever I’ve been working in a startup that’s produced such a pitch, I can’t bear to allow anyone to go a step further without asking them what the fuck they thought they were doing.

Because a pitch is easy to create.

Here’s literally all you need:

  • The problem that is being solved
  • How many people have that problem
  • How the solution will be approached
  • How the customers will be introduced to the solution
  • How much it’s going to cost to do it

Wrap it up by showing what you’ve done so far, and what you’re going to do next, and don’t be obtuse. If you can’t show what you’ve done so far, go and do something and then worry about your damn pitch.

This entire pitch needs to be composed of real information, backed up with real world data. It can’t be made up, pie in the sky dreaming based on a 5 minute Google search. And the bigger the numbers you’re using, the more inflated you’re going to look, so don’t fuck around with it.

If you get an investor who backs you based on a bad pitch, you’ve got a bad investor, and you’re both fucked. Tbh.