I welcome pitches through my social media channels. I’ve even gone so far as to put together an FAQ for how to pitch me. I hope I do a good job of welcoming founders at even the earliest stages into conversation. But just because I am happy to shoot the shit with you, doesn’t mean I’m capable of organizing your thoughts for you.
Want me to write a check? When you are getting started with me keep it simple. Ground me in the basics so you can take me into the details. Go from whole to parts.
Now I’m not asking you to dumb it down. I’m asking you to do the work to really clarify what you want to make. Maybe it doesn’t sound as impressive in a few sentences, but trust me you must anchor everything in the basics. If you cannot articulate the core product you need to build how in a few sentences, how do you think you will convince me to support your biggest craziest vision?
Now what I am asking you to do is actually quite hard. If you aren’t sure what I mean when I ask for a basic product description spend some time on the excellent Reddit sub “Explain Like I’m 5.” The premise is simple. If you have a complex technical topic that requires expertise you need a way to get it across to a layperson.
You will hire a lot of lay people in your career as a founder. I am just the first one. Educating me on what you are doing is hopefully the start of thousands of explanations you will give on what your company does. Because we both want you to build a big company right?
So while you are welcome to send me your standard 15 page deck, or in depth Notion documentation, or your favorite Substack blog posts, you know I have to explain it to the co-investors, new hires and LPs in a sentence right?
What I don’t want is to dig through dozens of documents and feel even less sure by the end of my diligence of what you are building than when I started. I want to hear a synopsis that excites me to dig in and then go on a journey with you where I learn just how much you’ve thought about it. But if you can’t keep it simple you probably aren’t ready to be fundraising.