I sit in on a lot of pitch meetings. In fact, I’ve probably listened to several hundred pitches from startup founders since I began angel investing.
More and more lately, those meetings have left me feeling bombarded by buzzwords. Blockchain, cloud computing, AI, machine learning… what does it all mean? And why does it seem like every startup in Silicon Valley is trying to shoehorn the lingo into their elevator pitch?
I’ll let you in on an industry secret: founders use these buzzwords excessively, and sometimes even incorrectly, in order to confuse and excite investors.
Right now, for example, everybody’s talking about blockchain technology. Blockchain is expected to revolutionize virtually every industry in the coming years. As a result, angels, VCs, and investment banks alike are throwing obscene amounts of money into companies claiming to use the tech.
Here’s the problem: some businesses have no good reason to be using blockchain, but are doing it anyway, purely for the benefit of generating investor hype. Add to that the fact that many investors have no idea what blockchain is or how it works.
My personal opinion? Throwing around buzzwords is a cheap trick. If a founder can’t explain what they’re doing in a simple way, they won’t be able to explain it to customers either. And that’s a problem when we’re talking about new and emerging tech. After all, if consumers can’t understand the need to use blockchain, why would they pay a premium for it?
It’s very rare that I invest in a founder who tries to talk above me, whether with buzzwords or overly complicated vocabulary. It doesn’t impress me – in fact, it makes me doubt the strength of the business overall. What are the founders trying to hide under all this confusing language?
Instead, I hold startups up against my 1,000X Formula – a super-simple equation I developed to quickly and easily identify deals that have the potential to 1,000X my investment. I’ve made millions of dollars just by following this formula – and it’s a heck of a lot faster than sitting through hundreds of pitch meetings a year.
Still, even with a strategy, it’s easy to get tripped up by buzzwords. Check out the video to see what I mean.
Until next time,
12 responses to “What Buzzwords Really Mean for Your Investments”
July 16 2019