Why Pitching With A Prototype Increases Your Chances of Raising VC Funds
Because Guy Kawasaki Said So
"If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a prototype is worth 10,000" - Guy
A famous quote that we have all come to know so well from the former Apple Evangelist", it still rings home to a lot of successful entrepreneurs today. Guy is a big fan of skipping the business plan process and going straight into the prototype. In his speech with a large group of MBA candidates in Barcelona back in 2014, Guy goes deeper into his reasoning as to why creating prototypes are far more important and impactful than creating a business plan.
"Technology and innovation have changed the business landscape, he says, making it practically impossible to create a meaningful business plan. "You can’t forecast five years into the future. What you forecast for this year is already late." The key, he insists, is to build your prototype. And technology has also made this easier than ever before. "It’s not so much about the business plan, it’s about demonstrating your idea. Forget about the excel sheet or the power point - if you don’t have the prototype, you won’t sell the idea. And if you get the prototype right… you may never even have to pitch."
(See entire video below)
Your product adheres to Visual Learners
Out of the various learner types available to us, when it comes to pitching, visual learners are the ones who have the most to lose. While some people are capable of sitting and listening to a pitch, after the first minute of your presentation if you haven't gotten the attention of your viewers chances are that they have drifted back into social media land, doing whatever they can to pass the time. Unfortunately, pass the time in this case means waiting until your presentation has finished. A safe way to avoid this type of reaction is providing visual stimulation for your audience. Even the greatest speakers can only keep their audiences entertained for a short period of time, but when you add visual cues, or even a live, demo-able prototype into the mix, it increases audience engagement dramatically, putting you in the drivers' seat for a successful pitch!
Constructive Criticism always crashes the party
If you think that you're going to have the perfect pitch, where everyone leaves happy, educated, rejuvenated and ready to invest into your app then you are sh*t out of luck! Criticism is actually a healthy part of the product development process, and the earlier you get your product the further ahead of the curve you will be in comparison to potential competitors. When you come to your pitch with a working prototype, it takes a lot of pressure off of the pitch and draws a major amount of attention to the product at hand. Regardless of what you say, the product that you will eventually go on to show is the only reason people are really there, along with increasing wallet sizes. First things first, allow people to provide their opinion on your product. Everyone has an opinion to say the least. Additionally, don't be afraid to invest in creating a prototype that articulates the clear value proposition, or problem-solving features that you plan on bringing to market. This will make the criticism process easier, and most important of all you should remember that people don't necessarily have to give you advice on anything. If they truly don't care about what you're offering, they will do everything in their power to get you off stage, or out of the room the fastest route available.
the app does the talking and the walking
The problem that you will eventually solve for your perspective customers will be enough to make them sing. People are more than happy to recommend something that has solved an issue for themselves, even if there is no value that can be added to the other individual. With this in mind, let your product tell a story. Tell a story about how a certain someone, somewhere was experiencing an incredible amount of difficult with her particular issue. She struggled day and night, sometimes even losing sleep with the idea that her problem would eventually follow her for the rest of her days. Then one magical day she met your product. At first she was timid, scared and skeptical to introduce something new into her life, but she was left with few options and decided to give it a try. She was delighted about the results that your product gave to her that she sang and leapt and danced for days and nights. She even left raving reviews, shared with friends and eventually went on to become a power user.
While this sounds like a Disney story about how your product magically fills the void of unhappiness in someone's life, it realistically should do this at one point or another. How does your prototype stack up to this story? What problem does it solve and who does it solve this problem for? You will be surprised to learn that there are a lot of people in the same room that you are in that has experienced something similar. You are not alone! Don't spend your time practicing the different ways on how to sell your product. Let the product speak for itself.
Less words, more prototypes!
Why we write
In the “24Stories Blog” we provide you with relevant industry topics meant to help your tech business grow. We help our clients design web and mobile apps as a short-term value add, but our content is meant to help you (if you use technology to scale your current business model) long-term. We hope the information increases your knowledge, skills and ability to build the best applications in the world use industry standard best-practices. After reading our content we hope that you can become more “tactical”, by immediately putting what you learn to task. Thanks for reading!