The one-sentence e-mail turndown

Classical ideal feedback model. The feedback i...

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If you have pitched sent your proposal to VC's, you have probably received one of those:

Thanks Company X for sharing your proposal, this is not one for us, best of luck with the fundraising and stay in touch.  Best, VC Y

You are probably thinking, WTF.  After all, aren't VC's paid to look at pitches and business plans ?  Actually, we are not.  Here are reasons why I regularly write the above:

  • If I won't invest in you, I can't spend time with you.  And before you ask, of course there are plenty of exceptions including some really naive entrepreneurs who I really like and spend time mentoring for no good reason, but I shouldn't be doing it, really.
  • If I try to provide you with a smart and structured answer, it's going to take me 30 minutes I do not have. 
  • If I try to provide summarized feedback, you will either take offense or think I am really dumb.  Here is one example of heroic summarisation:
    • Value chain dynamics too complex
    • Can't see how this scales given revenue model and the above
    • Does not feel like a large enough opportunity for the type of fund we have (or similarly evasive comment)

I used to call people systematically because I thought this was more polite — let's just say it was a bad idea.

The Truth is, much of the time, I DON'T KNOW why I pass.  I just do pattern recognition and I pass, fast.  Example: average looking team – tough market – financials don't look ambitious – product replicable –> pass.  Time spent: 3 minutes and 12 seconds including writing the mail.  I hear you thinking it's not fair, after all you poured your heart and soul in that business … and I know that.  Why do I do so ?  Because filtering effectively is a survival skill in my business

That is why you need … intros.

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