Sun, Jan 20, 2013
We all know that investors put their money into teams not ideas. Ideas are cheap and plentiful. Incredible execution is rare. Ideas evolve (yeah — sometimes they “pivot”). Great teams excel at this, mediocre teams fall apart. So you invest into people.
Which means your team slide better be good.
I can’t tell you too much about the composition of your team — as this is highly dependent on your idea and the industry you’re in.
Teams of one are usually a bad sign. If you can’t bring a team to the table when you ask for funding it just doesn’t reflect well on your ability to execute in the recruit & convince department. Teams which have a bunch of people listed as “will come on board once we can pay her/him a salary” don’t work. People who are not willing to take the risk are employees, not cofounders.
Don’t bullshit when you talk about your team. Sentences such as “X has 10 years of Internet experience” make me cringe, then laugh and then delete your email. Every man and his dog has ten years of “Internet experience” by now. Be honest, tell me what your team did. If your team hasn’t done anything interesting. Well, that’s something you should think about. You won’t be able to hide it anyway. “Y is a Ruby ninja”? I let your team mate speak with one of our portfolio companies for 3 min and I know if he’s a ninja or a backwater coder who still designs MySpace pages for his school chorus. Oh — and by the way: Nobody is a fucking ninja, superstar or what-have-you. Cut the lingo.
Lastly — and this shows your attention to detail: Make sure the pictures you use have a common look and feel and don’t look like a collection of randomly selected vacation snapshots. Unless you’re all totally wasted in the shots. That might be funny.
And hey — my offer stands: Send me your deck and I’ll provide honest, direct feedback. I won’t bite. Promise.