Editor’s Note – Week of September, 26 2016
Decks are More Than Just Boxes to Check
As an associate at Founder Collective over the past 8 months, I’ve seen over a hundred live pitches and probably close to a thousand decks. I can think of a handful that blew me away. Many were good. Most were utterly forgettable.
Given how central decks are to communicating with VCs, and how many pitch resources have been published by VCs and founders alike, it’s amazing how many poorly designed decks are shot off every day. But I have some ideas why.
First, I think many founders are intimidated by the deck. They think a good deck requires great design elements - e.g. the perfect font - and they get so held up on these small decisions that they never figure out the story they want to tell.
Second, I think many founders consider the deck to be secondary to the pitch itself. It’s a box to check. They want to get in front of the investor and just have a conversation, so they don’t put the time in to build a truly compelling pitch.
What’s ironic is that the founders who give the best pitches, the founders who are the most passionate, have done their homework and completely knock it out of the park, are also the founders with the best pitch decks. At the risk of angering my statistics professor, I’d guess there is some causation, not just correlation, here. Building a persuasive pitch requires you to pare down any excess and focus on what is most compelling. Putting together a great deck forces you to truly understand what’s unique about your business and why others should care.
In other words, my advice to my fellow entrepreneurs would be to put in the work. You’re not just building a deck, you’re honing the story of your business. It’ll be worth it.
-David Peterson, Contributing Editor