Paul Graham of Y Combinator fame has to be one of the sharpest startup minds on this humble planet. His essays on the topics of business, culture and startups are nothing short of genius. I was catchup up on his work recently I found his essay on Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas simply gripping.
If you haven’t happened upon his writings yet, I suggest you log out some time to do it. You’ll be so inspired you might just start to get amped up and take some serious action. They are another reminder of how lucky we are in this day and age to have free and omnipresent access to the worlds greatest thinkers who share their philosophy and ideas for free.
Mick Liubinskas told me an amazing story about belief when we caught up recently. I just had to share it here.
‘A journalist was sent to Niagra falls to cover a a dare devil high wire artist who had claimed he would walk across the Niagra falls on a wire. The journalist arrived and met said dare devil and spoke to him. Then the dare devil commenced the task.
He completed it without fail and upon return the journalist congratulated him, but then went on to say that he thought it was a fluke. That he thought he was really just lucky, and that he did not believe he would be so fortunate if he tried again. So the dare devil then grabbed a chair, called over his assistant and asked her to sit in it. He then carried her in the chair across the Niagra falls to prove it wasn’t just luck.
The journalist, then apologized, and said that now he really believes. The stunt man then retorted, if you really believe you’ll get in the chair.’
You might be wondering how this story relates to startups or your business. But Mick was telling it in relation to Venture Capitalist and selling ideas. I thought it was a great analogy to share with people who claim they are with you when you feel there is some doubt.
There is more good than bad in these hilarious Ali G pitches to Venture Capitalists.
What to look for:
- His tone of voice and pausing when speaking.
- His reliance on talking. There is no powerpoint.
- Taking them on a journey. Story telling.
- Simple visuals. Having samples / props.
- Supreme confidence
I’d seriously recommend this video on how to pitch versus most other examples we see on the web so long as we understand the context.