Venture investors and absent-mindedness
Investors’ behavior can seem strange to a person who has not worked in VC. The most annoying thing, according to many founders I know, is that it is very easy to lose their attention. VCs often can’t remember what they talked to you about in a meeting a week or two ago, they start scrolling on the phone in the middle of a pitch and don’t really come back into the conversation. Let’s try to figure out if we can forgive them)
The reason for this behavior is quite simple — just like in a startup, speed is of primary importance in the job of VC. The law of large numbers is applicable here: the more projects you’ve seen the better portfolio you get. This is why the best investors analyze a huge amount of information and switch between contexts dozens of times a day. Such a rhythm is possible only if you know how to see the essence quickly and not be distracted by information noise. Yes, if an investor dived into the phone 30 seconds after your pitch started, it means that, most likely, he saw a red flag and is unlikely to enter into a deal despite what you tell him.
Of course founders also have a dozen meetings a day, but, I want to point this out again, the main difference is the change in context. When you develop one project, the starting position of any meeting is more or less the same — your company operates in all the same markets, it has the same business model, value proposition, competitors, etc. In the case of VC, these variables change from meeting to meeting. So it all seems like advanced ADHD to onlookers.
How should founders cope with this? Be more specific and ideally introduce investors to the context quickly. Squeeze the most juice out of the message, make a short “what happened in the previous series” briefing and go! And please, fewer adjectives both in the deck and in the pitch. Most often investors get this intense longing to dive into the phone right after you mention which “best”, “brilliant” or “unique” product you make for the fifth time. Stay venture!
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