I just had a meeting with a buddy and he got mad at me because he felt that he'd crossed a threshold in terms of what his technology could achieve and, for whatever reason, I wasn't buying it (enough). It didn't help that the entire conversation was verbal.
Thinking back on the dialog with the benefit of a couple of hours (and a couple of Pinots), I think I'm just at a point in my life now where... I don't need to hear a bunch of words. I just want to see some cool stuff working.
Show me the demo.
Seriously. I really identified with something Fred Wilson said on his blog yesterday. His blog was about how when you're meeting with a VC, you should try and boil down what you want to say to six slides.
Within an hour of his post, there were like 173 comments on avc.com about whether six was the right number. Then in the middle of the argument, he said, look, if you can demo your idea over the Internet, I don't need six slides - in fact I don't need any slides. Just...
Show me the demo.
I guess that's where I'm at. You reach a point where the words form mountains and it becomes really difficult to get around them or over them to the place where the milk and honey is. Which is why it is so refreshing to be able to sit back and watch when someone comes in and slices through all the BS - and demonstrates something that is focused, valuable, fun - and reliable.
There's lots o folks out there that recommend you don't ever do a live demo - because you are risking your chance at getting funding. What a bunch of hooey. I suggest if you're serious about what you're doing and at least halfway competent, you should take this advice and shred it - by doing the best damn demo anyone has seen in ages.
Believe me, that will stand out from the pack.
John is a serial entrepreneur and investor, and the co-founding Partner of Hatcher+, a data-driven, globally-focused venture investment platform based in Singapore. In addition to leading capital raising and deal syndication, he is the visionary and architect behind the Hatcher Stack, the company's venture-oriented business process automation platform. Over the past five years, John has led numerous venture investments in early-stage companies, including ASYX, DocDoc, Dropsuite, Invit, Inzen Studio, SocialCops, ThoughtRiver, and Telr - and syndicated over US$100Mn of additional debt and equity co-investment. IPOs and trade sales in which he was acted for the majority shareholder include Dropsuite (ASX:DSE) and Inzen Studio (ASX:ICI). His M&A work includes the merger of payment leader Telr with Dubai-based Innovate Payments, and the merger of Singapore-based companies DocDoc, and DoctorPage. Prior to co-founding Hatcher, John founded cybersecurity technology leader Authentium (acquired by CYREN in 2010), and acted as a director for global payments aggregator Mozido, and an advisor to Africa-based Gateway Communications, satellite technology developer MDS America, Kuwait-based Internet marketplace Sheeel.com, and Orion Partners, a $2B private equity fund manager based in Hong Kong.
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