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.