It’s the season of giving, so when my friend Nathan Bashaw asked for follow-up on my last post, well, I cracked open WordPress to deliver! Nathan wanted my POV on the difference between bullshitting to investors versus telling a BIG VISION CRAZY STORY.
So here we go…..
Bullshitting is telling prospective investors one story — what you think they want to hear and you’re not really committed to — while telling your team another story. Making Them Believe is articulating what your company has the chance to become, even if it’s dependent on lots of hard work and there’s lots of unknown between now and then. Remember, VCs are listening for what could happen if things go right, not wrong.
Bullshitting is building a spreadsheet with assumptions which are all 2–10x better than what the marketplace sees today. Making Them Believe is building a model which starts with actual and/or achievable numbers and shows how you get leverage over time — ie this is a great company, but look at the leverage we get over time which impacts [growth, pricing power, CAC, LTV, etc] and how these additional basis points drop straight to the bottom line.
Bullshitting is fucking with your graphs — scale, timeframe, axis — is order to produce a desired visual. Making Them Believe is walking the VC through the inflection points in your historical data and demonstrating the insights from the journey, the ability to double down when something is working. Bonus points for giving the investor access to raw data itself if they’d like.
Bullshitting is name-dropping potential hires, advisors or puffing up your previous accomplishments in ways that won’t stand up to off-sheet reference chances. Making Them Believe is articulating how you’ve punched above your weight in hiring so far and why you’re going to be a place where the best in the industry will want to work, or how you’re superior in spotting talented people early in their careers and betting on them before others.
Bullshitting is anything which you say only to get funded. Making Them Believe is anything you share that makes people want to fund you.