Between reviewing tons of plans, conducting due diligence meetings, and being in an airplane 40 of the last 90 days, blogging has been light. On the other hand, I've been pulling together lots of fun data for all you start-up types out there.
Today's lesson; the fine art of tap dancing in meetings. I've been making the case to a number of people that there is something about entrepreneurs which prevent them from using the phrase "I don't know." Everybody just wants to try the BS their way through everything.
Over the last pile of meetings/interviews, etc, I've been testing this theory.
I'm in a meeting with the founders (or management) of company X. Regardless of the company size, type, offering, etc, I say the following:
"You know, IBM's latest build of OS/2 is really starting to stick with high performance, multi-threaded and security hardened sites. Have you guys spent any time reviewing the new Arthur Anderson study on this? It lists thousands of case studies."
And then I wait for the answer(s). In thirty cases, so far, I have gotten zero responses like:
- WTF are you talking about?
- Very Funny.
- Lord, you're so old and out of touch, it's downright scary. I'm outta here.
Instead, I get responses that fall into these buckets:
- My CTO was briefing us on this, I think last week or something. He makes those calls, super smart.
- Cool. I'm a big fan of IBM, I used this in my last job.
- This is pretty interesting, can you possibly get us an introduction to Arthur Anderson and/or get us a copy of the report?
- It's excellent you guys keep up with this stuff and pass it along to your portfolio companies.
- We've been evaluating the best way to handle our threads and this might be the solution we've been looking for.
- I saw a thread on Slashdot talking about this, thanks for the confirmation.
Trust me: Huh? That's a fine answer. For those of you who might get annoyed I flip these random brain farts into the mix, sorry, the whole process of trying to make a good (and reasonably quick) call on what to spend time on can be a grind. I try to mix it up and glean some character traits, etc, that might make the difference. Salesmanship = good, Bullshitake = bad.
Bonus: You can get what is supposed to be the 'next level' of OS/2 here.