The one-sentence e-mail turndown
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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.