Garry Tan

Garry Tan quotes on how to pich

Founder Initialized. PM/designer/eng turned Forbes Midas List Top 100 VC in startups worth over $40B, before product-market fit.

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When choosing a startup idea, you must be able to check either of these boxes [ ] Truly novel (nobody else has tried) [ ] 10X better product The absolute best check both. 99% of startups check neither. A good pitch is sometimes a strong story explaining how to get the 1st ☑️


Investors at early stage are usually willing to take one of the two: team/execution risk (Can they build and scale it?) or market risk (Do people want it/can it grow quickly?) —If you’re pitching, you should know which risk you are asking investors to believe you can overcome.


Basic building blocks of a pitch: 1/ What is it? What problem does it solve? Can you explain it simply? Is it something people want? 2/ Is it working? Traction, stats, stories about users wanting it. 3/ How big could it actually be? Can this be the winner? Moats/network effects.


It’s always a bad sign when 5 min into a conversation, it turns into a buzzword signaling competition. Startups are best explained using plain English and first principles. It’s too easy for emperor-has-no-clothes situations to crop up when it’s an abstraction house of cards.


Speaking faster and saying more words is like taking a trip with a big suitcase and filling it with lots of things you don’t need and forgetting some things you do. Better to take a small suitcase with just the things you need. Better to speak slowly and say only what you must.


Founders beware: Tossing buzzwords like blockchain or AI in a pitch without real use cases will turn off good investors and attract the dumb


Subtle real advantage nobody talks about: if founders can access deeper pools of capital early/quickly, they can get bigger faster without spawning lots of competitors. If your startup is real, pitching Sand Hill is sometimes like giving away copies of your treasure map


Founders— don’t get pitch advice from too many folks, or you’ll have a frankenpitch. Also ignore advice from your rando I-banker friends.

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