The article itself is a really great read that I would highly recommend (it gives a little bit of insight into what a real ‘overnight success’ looks like).
But what really kicked me in the head about this share, was a small comment Andy Weissman posted on the share in which he mentions that “Initially I was one of those baffled business people”.
I first met Andy back in 2010 when he was more heavily involved with BetaWorks (and I did a few months consulting for bit.ly), but I had followed him via Twitter for some time before that (and have a number of friends that have known him for much longer)…so I’ve had a lot of time to form an opinion or a perception of Andy.
That internal perception - even though his day-to-day since I’ve known him has heavily been about finance, business, and numbers - is that Andy is an artist (with exceptional taste none-the-less).
Part of that perception is because he’s such a music aficionado and part is because all of his blog posts are thought provoking, emotional, and authentic pieces around creating, sharing, and consuming digital bits of what I would classify as some version of 'art’.
So if I was someone trying to put together an idea like Kickstarter, and trying to find investors who 'fit’ and might have a chance to 'get’ my vision (and understand the business side/potential)…one of the first, and top, people I would think of would be Andy Weissman.
Yet - even he didn’t get it at first. Sure he woke up to the opportunity *before* most everyone else but it clearly wasn’t an easy sell and it wasn’t obvious.
This is a great wake up call and reminder.
When you’re starting something new and looking for early stage investors, the only thing you really have to go on is their previously formed beliefs, gut, and emotion about a given vertical or approach (and their belief in you)…but you have to be careful about the assumptions or internal perceptions about someone you are meeting with or looking to bring onto the team.
Don’t cut corners in the story, the vision, or the plan just because you think they already understand or “get it”.
They may very well be the *perfect* fit for what you’re doing…but it’s still *your* challenge to help them see and understand that.
No matter how much you think they could, should, or might get excited about what you are doing…the truth is they simply won’t until your *full* story is compelling and interesting enough to get them there.
It might not be with the first (or fifth) time you meet with them. But if you’re good enough to keep getting the meeting, keep working on improving and fleshing out the full story arc. If they really are a perfect fit, you’ll get them there (and if they aren’t you’ll still use the experience to improve your story and communications around it).
The truth is, I’ve been horrible at this in the past and continue to make too many assumptions and skip over really important parts of our story as I meet with people right now (honestly it’s *super* hard not to).
I have to get A LOT better at this!
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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