Why 10 slides, 5 minute pitches and one pagers really matter

Fred Wilson wrote a good post recently on the optimal size for a slide deck. His thesis was skip the slide deck and do a great demo.  I believe in demos, mockups, product samples or any other devices entrepreneurs use to enable investors to understand what you are selling. The more actual the product is, the easier to get people (including investors) excited.  But, this post is NOT about the optimal slide count or pitch length for investors. Rather, it is about building a successful business.  Wooing investors is great, but ultimately selling a lot of product to customers is what makes a business succeed. The 10 or 6 or 3 slide deck (as opposed to a 30 slide deck) is important because it forces entrepreneurs to think concretely about their business.  Early stage business is about efficiency. Doing the few things (maybe one) really well and delighting your customers with the things you do.  The 5-minute pitch or 10-slide … Continue reading →

Boston entrepreneurial leaders please stop whining about Boston

I went to my third entrepreneurial event in the last two months last night where the panel discussion degenerated to a groupthink discussion about how Boston sucks for young entrepreneurs. There are no angels that fund anything and how the best course of action is to head to the left coast if you want to start a business. This panel discussion was held at MIT and was sponsored by the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. That is Cambridge Massachusetts for those of you paying attention and not Cambridge, Silicon Valley, California. This thinking is counter-productive and has got to stop. At the vast majority of these events, we convince all the smart entrepreneurial graduates that they should take the first train to California and seek their fortunes, much like the 49ers searching for gold. I love Northern California and there is a somewhat greater appetite there to fund highly capital efficient, very early stage, internet consumer plays, but this does … Continue reading →