We hear startup proposals from entrepreneurs – many of whom are Millenials and this is not a swipe at Millenials at all, not to worry – and oftimes their ideas include a social good component. We have nothing against social good – au contraire – and often, no matter what the full platform/pain-point solution, the entrepreneur tends to focus on the social good component. Often to the exclusion of all else, or they may bring it up five to ten minutes into the investor pitch.
Things To Remember:
- You’re there at the pitch to get money/funding from the investors
- The investors are about money, too – they have LPs to answer to
- No matter how worthy your social good angle, bottom line: consumers are selfish – what’s the value add to them, besides the fact that, say, you want to educate every single person in the world? Nice – how does your laundry detergent help me (and we mean the royal/inclusive ‘me’ here) to completely remove all stains (if that’s what you’re offering) at a price point that’s going to inspire me to give up my current laundry detergent. Nice that it’s also going to completely reverse the effects of water pollution and you also have a social good angle – you want to contribute 50% of the profits to help educate the world, but at, say, $200 for a box of detergent, no matter how good your overall intentions, that’s a non starter.
- Investors have the attention span of a gnat, with all due respect to our investor friends out there. It’s not that they’re necessarily ADHD: they’ve been there/done that/heard it all before/burned the tee shirt: they want to know about your product, not your conscience. Being able to pay back their LPs – with nice returns – that’s what helps them sleep at night. Too.
Get to the point, throw in the social good angle later, if you need to, or to roughly cite Jerry Maguire, it’s you lost me at ‘hello.’
Same with your customers.