You’ve been given a billion pieces of advice on how to present to VCs and other possible investors. My thing has been problem, solution, who is going to pay for it. I’ve also said that if you’ve got the demo, get to it as soon as you can.
I want to add one more tip/insight which resonates well with the money crowd as well as potential partners, suppliers, and your development team. Use Cases. A use case is simply a non-geek speak narrative of how a particular person uses your product or service. This might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people stutter and stammer when they have to explain who is going to use/pay for the product.
A good example is the really cool product Dave Sifry put together called Offbeat Guides. When Dave first told me about this product, he had his pitch deck (10 slides, just so you know) but before we really dived into it, he started off with the one liner (personalized travel guides with real time information throughout the guide) and then dived into his use cases. He described a family, a single person, a business traveler, a sports junkie looking to hit all the events in one town, etc, etc. In each one, he laid out exactly how the product was going to work within the use case. Plus he had the benefit of giving his development team a very detailed idea of what he was expecting his users to do, why and under what conditions. This gave the dev team context and something to measure against as they build something. Again, it sounds simple and obvious but it is a very powerful way to work effectively with your technical team.
I bring this up because over the last two weeks (time flies), I’ve been both pitching my company using this technique as well as I’ve been asked to give feedback/opinions on opportunities for some VC friends of mine.
For those who were pitching with solid use cases, the conversations were engaging and the entrepreneur was able to keep ahead of questions/comments like “I don’t get it, who is going to use this”. Use cases show you understand the value proposition and how your product or service fits.
It’s worth your time, in my view, to document and know cold your use cases.
Back to my legal documents.