Entrepreneur lessons – Avoid Looking Like an Amateur

Entrepreneur lessons from a Venture Capitalist - Avoid Looking Like an Amateur

Signs that tell a VC you are an amateur?

  • You bring “weird” people to the pitch meetings.
    Do not bring “advisors”. Do not bring anyone that isn’t a key employee. Do not have a non-CEO/founder lead a meeting. Invite the CEO or the CEO and co-founder only at first.
  • You ask for money to help you build a “sales process”.
    No. You ask for money to help you sell faster and better. Not to figure out how to sell. You need to do that yourself.
  • You don’t know your core metrics fluently.
    You just gotta know your MRR (revenue), average deal size, latest customers you closed, burn rate, etc. If you the CEO has to turn to her/his co-founder for an answer, you’ve already lost.
  • You don’t know the competitive landscape.
    It’s OK to say “I should know more about [competitor] but I’m not sure of the answer”. Not great but OK.
  • You badmouth the competition too much.
    A tiny bit isn’t the end of the world but great founders respect the competition.
  • You show up late.
    This is sales. (It’s selling stock, yes), but it’s sales.
  • You’re too arrogant.
    Don’t be too nervous but don’t go too far the other way. This can sort of work for later stage investments but usually doesn’t work well for earlier