I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable 4th of July. Yesterday, we took a look at the first five lies to avoid when making a pitch; so if you didn’t log on, take a look. Today, I’ll share the remaining five lies, as presented by a VC I recently met.
“Procter & Gamble is too old, big, dumb and slow to be a threat.” If you have lived under a rock for the past century, allow me to inform you that P&G has made a huge name for itself. Unless you are the CEO of P&G, you should probably avoid commenting on what they can and cannot do.
“Patents make our business defensible.” The unfortunate reality of our legalistic culture is that if someone wants to sue you, they will. Patents, copyrights, trademarks, and common sense be damned. While patents and other legal defenses will help your cause, they cannot make you invincible.
“All we have to do is get 1% of the market.” Most entrepreneurs are searching for that elusive 1% or more of the market. Keep reaching for a target, but 1% of the market will not likely ever be your end-all-be-all definition of success. It will also not be your investor’s target, so you can just forget this phrase during a pitch.
“We have first-mover advantage.” As we’ve mentioned several times, if you have a good idea; many other people are also probably working on it. It is entirely possible that the investor you’re pitching has already heard a pitch for a very similar product, thus erasing your supposed first-mover advantage.
“We have a world-class, proven team.” Everyone believes that they have a world-class, proven team. Why would you stay on a team if you didn’t believe it was world-class? An investor knows, don’t waste time telling him/her.