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Peter Thiel’s Startup Class: Pitching

Stashed in: 106 Miles, Venture Capital!, Peter Thiel, Funding, Startup Lessons, Startups

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From the notes:

One of the most important things to remember when thinking about pitching is that there are huge numbers of pitches in the world. Venture capitalists hear quite a few of them. And they find the process frustrating because it is such a low yield activity (a tiny fraction of first pitches lead to subsequent diligence and even fewer of those lead to a deal). So if you want VCs to listen to you, you need to force them to listen—to break through the clutter. Doing so requires you to hack into the VC mind.


>At some point there will be talk about a business model. Just have something reasonable to say about this. For young companies, it’s almost certainly a total work of fiction since it will probably change. But having a reasonable answer shows that you’re thinking about how the product will become a business.


To avoid this fate, tell a story – and try to do it first without relying on your deck. People like stories. Our brains are wired to respond them. We recall facts better when they are embedded in narrative... Why did you start your company? What do you want to achieve? Then drape the facts around that skeleton.


Your subsidiary goal should be to keep control of your enterprise. This is very important. Some things you can’t change very easily once they’re set. You can’t really change your core values. You can’t really dump co-founders, unless you want to pay through the nose to do so. But hardest to get change is your VC; once they’re on your board, they’re there for good. So you have to choose very wisely.

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