Skip to main content

How to Impress Investors

If you're a CEO courting investors, you probably find yourself presenting the business plan for your company or product frequently. Incorporating solid market research in the plan gives it credibility.

However, the credibility of the written business plan sometimes has less impact than your credibility, and the credibility of other leaders in the company. So you might think that market research helps only marginally in closing the deal with investors. Perhaps you should instead just try to pad your Board of Directors and leadership positions with some industry experts. Think again.

The most impressive presentation you can give to investors is one in which you demonstrate not only that you have a solid plan, but that you know how to address business realities. Rather than rely on industry experts - who can be helpful but can also be a crutch - how about becoming an expert yourself?

If you just happen to have market research and strategy skills, you can use them to become an expert on the market for your products. If you don't, however, you need to hire someone who does, and who will make you an expert on the market and the strategy for targeting it. When you hire such a person and become an expert, you not only impress with your knowledge, but you demonstrate you are resourceful in confronting whatever the market throws your way.

It carries weight with investors when you know your market and hire people with the skills to keep your company in tune with it.


Popular posts from this blog

What Product Managers Can Learn from the Apple iPod

The Story When Apple unveiled its iPod digital music player back in October 2001, I dismissed it as a  parity product . I already owned the Cowon iAUDIO CW100 MP3 player, loaded with my favorite tunes. There was Apple, generating great hype over the iPod as if it were a breakthrough product. The idea of a portable digital music player was nothing new. The first mass-produced MP3 players came out in 1998. In late 2001, the concept may have been new to a lot of Apple customers, but it wasn't new to me. I proudly showed my MP3 player to friends when they gushed about the iPod. Thus Apple's iPod was not an innovative product in and of itself. Years later, however, I realized the significance of ecosystem of which the iPod was a part. Apple had released iTunes (with technology purchased from  SoundJam MP ) and created the iTunes Store for finding and downloading music. Unlike Napster , it was a safe and legal way of distributing and acquiring music. The prior way of playing

Why Spreadsheets Suck for Prioritizing

The Goal As a company executive, you want confidence that your product team (which includes all the people, from all departments, responsible for product success) has a sound basis for deciding which items are on the product roadmap. You also want confidence the team is prioritizing the items in a smart way. What Should We Prioritize? The items the team prioritizes could be features, user stories, epics, market problems, themes, or experiments. Melissa Perri  makes an excellent case for a " problem roadmap ", and, in general, I recommend focusing on the latter types of items. However, the topic of what types of items you should prioritize - and in what situations - is interesting and important but beyond the scope of this blog entry. A Sad but Familiar Story If there is significant controversy about priorities, then almost inevitably, a product manager or other member of the team decides to put together The Spreadsheet. I've done it. Some of the mos

Interaction Design: the Neglected Skill

Your product development organization has a big, gaping hole in it. (Be prepared to feel defensive as you continue reading.) One of the most important roles in product development is the role of interaction designer. An interaction designer designs how the users will interact with the product and conceptualize the tasks they perform. He decides whether, for example, the user interface will be command driven, object oriented (clicking on objects then specifying what to do with them), or wizard based. The interaction designer decides the individual steps in the use cases. Every company has one or more people that play the interaction designer role. Usually, those people have little or no expertise in interaction design. Sadly, they typically don't even realize how unqualified they are. Let's see who typically plays the role at companies. Engineer . An engineer is an expert on building what is designed. Yes, an engineer may know how to design the internal structure of the hardware