October 30, 2015

Why pitching ability matters

Engineers used to wonder what the point of sales and marketing people was. If a product was good, wouldn’t customers make the correct decision to buy it?

Nobody I know seems that naive anymore, but I did just get a similar question, which may be paraphrased as:

Why do investors judge a startup on the CEO’s pitching ability? Shouldn’t they focus instead on the actual merits of the company?

Most of my answer boiled down to:

Investors’ top concern is management’s ability to execute, and pitching is — or simulates — a large part of execution.

In particular (and now I’m quoting my own email directly):

I finished with one other point that didn’t fit the template, namely:

If you can’t articulate a good pitch, why should we believe there’s a good story in there at all?

I think the entrepreneur who asked me the question was convinced. :)

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