Hey world! Alright, bare with me, long post…my fingers had been itching badly for a good amount of time…This was my only cure 😉
Anyways. Having collected some feedback for my pitch and idea sketch, and gone through the course’s reading list, I feel like if I have immersed myself even more into the world of entrepreneurship. And most importantly, I think I understand what makes a startup successful in the long run: a good, sustainable and solid business model (something I was never too aware of before…)
Having myself done a pitch as well as listened to other very inspirational pitches, I get now that the pitch is really only the first step, which is getting investors. (Money is goooood.) The rest of value must created through a good business plan.
And about the pitch – I learned a few things of what to do and what not to do, and most importantly, how to start your pitch (-with what you should start with). Start with a problem, and state the problem in a way that others can connect and relate to it, even though they might not. Many of the best pitches from Thursday had a story and the story had a problem in it. “One night I did A and B, and I realized that C was missing […] And if I did D, it would solve C!” What was also good about some of the pitches was that they stated the market size, or at least the amount of people experiencing the problem, thus both identiying and quatifying the customer segment.
However, what is easy to forget when telling about your business venture idea is the revenue model. This is probably the one thing that the investors are the most interested about. I never understood this before, but after having some of the course’s articles about business model generation, I finally get that no matter how good or innovative or awesome or glitzy and whatnot your product is, without a good business model or revenue model (i.e. it won’t be profitable), the whole thing is untimately use- and worthless.
The thing is, who doesn’t want to make more money? Creating value for shareholders is all that matters in the universe of good business. That’s what comes after an innovation that makes the world more efficient and changes previous human behaviors. Think of Apple’s iPod and iTunes. Read this article (http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/18/innovation-business-model-leadership-managing-products.html) and you will understand what I am trying to say: Technology improves the world, but the ultimate underlying fuel and driver of the world is after all economic gains. Or does anyone disagree?
To get some post-pitch inspiration (I mean who knows, I might do a REAL pitch one day…) and to prepare myself a little for my third startup event this Monday (The Balderton Pitch Battle), I decided to watch some Dragon’s Den clips.
Here is the chosen one:
In this video, the pitchers are around my age, with a business idea very typical of college kids. It is therefore quite relatable for me. I also personally feel strongly about CSR. I agree with the lady dragon that CSR is the future and that the paradigm should now shift towards a world where social responsibility is a necessity and something obvious if we human beings want to sustain ourselves for another century at least. Business Schools should really start teaching these things… Hopefully not just a “fad”.
And to the Business Model importance. The pitchers were mostly asked about the the costs (how much is it gonna cost us to plant a tre for each dollar of sales), the profits and so on, once again proving it to me that hey, here’s a pretty good idea, but it won’t be anything unless we can move forward and spread it and profit from it.
It’s not that the latter is more important than the former, just that, both can’t really survive without the other. A good business model can prevent competitors from eating you alive through for example imitating your idea. A good business model will also make your business strong enough to stand on its feet and spread further. And, just as stated in Osterwalder’s business model canvas, key resources and channels are a key part too: the pitchers’ own tree farm, the lady dragon’s nisched marketing company, relevant ofshore contacts in Hong Kong etc..
Hmm, wonder how profitable this tree-t-shirt business got in the end..