Hunter Walk wrote a post called “I Don’t Want to Meet Your Company at Demo Day” that I enjoyed yesterday. It made me think about a tweet I posted a little while ago:
optimal is believe, do, say…acceptable is do, believe, say…common is say, do, believe…fail is say, say, say (unless you’re McCartney)— Kevin Marshall (@falicon) July 17, 2013
If I had more time right now, I would share a lot more thoughts on incubators and demo days with you, but I’ve got to completely reengineer a crucial part of the pubgears system today (due to a change in our internal language/thoughts and lack of initial product or system specification).
So instead, I’ll just leave you with a few random bullet point thoughts:
1. Great incubators are great because they push the limits and challenge you on your beliefs
2. Incubators are great because they force you, and all the other parties involved, into the ‘do’ mode.
3. People from the outside really only experience the 'say’ mode, and that is where/what the hype is built around. Don’t use this to guide your efforts or attention.
4. Investors that are buying into companies at demo days, that they have not built a previous relationship with, are doing so based on the trust and reputation of the incubator – not the startup. This is why it’s more important to get into Y Combinator or TechStars than many of the others.
5. Seeking investment is akin to enterprise sales…the process is lengthy, involved, and generally (resource) expensive. You have to be in the right mentality and phase to do it well, and if you’re going this route, be aware that it is yet another sales process (that, unless you are in the enterprise sales business, is probably completely different/challenging to your 'core business’ and sales process).
That last one, about enterprise sales, doesn’t really have anything to do with incubators or demo days but was just something else that this general conversation made me think about…
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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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