Guy Kawasaki is an American venture capitalist, managing director of GarageTechnologyVentures, a venture capital company specialising in high-tech start-ups in the Silicon Valley. He is also a co-founder of Nononina, which has created websites such as Truemors and Alltop.
Also, everyone knows Kawasaki from his work at Apple: as the company's chief evangelist, he's the one we owe the apple-technology fashion. After working at Cupertino, Kawasaki invested in dozens of startups (including Canva, the mega successful online picture editor), became the face of Mercedes, and became a professor in Berkeley, California.
When Kawasaki writes instructions for a successful startup, he knows what he's writing about. Conversely, here are 10 of his life hacks, for those who want to impress an investor.
10 basic things to make an impression on an investor...
1. Start a real business and for the long-term
It seems obvious, but not all novice entrepreneurs do so. Most of them aim to jump to IPO or resale at the first opportunity. But for venture capitalists, perhaps, there is nothing more attractive than those companies which, in their opinion, can somehow influence the world and are created for a long time.
2. Using internal sources
Venture capitalists are usually pretty lazy. They want everything on a silver plate. They prefer it when someone they know and trust gives them a good idea. For venture capitalists, the best references are those received from corporate finance attorneys, CEOs from their portfolio or college professors.
3. Follow the 10/20/30 rule
Your Power Point presentation must have no more than 10 slides, last 20 minutes, and the smallest font of the presentation must be at least 30 points. And, to all this, it is implied that you have the graphics, patent, information from available sources, etc.
4. Show positive dynamics
The most effective way to prove that your business really deserves attention is to show that it is profitable. So there's only one way to make your presentation credible - show the cash flow in your business. Show your income and you will gain investor confidence.
5. Business has to be clean
Once again, let me remind you that venture capitalists are lazy, so your business that they represent should be clean. This means that there should be no lawsuits, no claim to your property and so on.
6. Open up all the cards
If you have something to hide from investors, there is no need to immediately tell them about it, having solved the problem. The bad news voiced to investors is the worst thing you can do. But later all your secrets have to be revealed.
7. Identify your competitor
As a rule, investors like rivalry and this once again confirms that the market really exists.
8. Don't lie
Take a closer look at the figures in last month's report. Please note that each new lie reduces your chances of cash funding by 25%. Lie four times and you won't get any money.
9. Do not fall into the trap of these questions...
As practice shows, investors, among others, like to ask such questions: "Do you see yourself as a long-term CEO of this company?" and "What is the liquidity of your company?".
The correct answer in the first case: "My goal is to create a big company. If, over time, it turns out that it is in the interests of the company that I should retire, I will do so with satisfaction".
The correct answer to the second question should be this: "To be honest, I don't pay too much attention to liquidity. The team and I have focused all our attention on the product. If we can build a really big company, I'm sure there will be liquidity".
10. Don't promise too much and exceed what you promised
Be sure of everything you say, including that the results meet expectations. Present a prototype or sample in advance. Provide all recommendations in advance. The only thing you should not do in advance is spend all the money.