If you have a strong pull slide, nothing else about your pitch matters
It’s a common thing the accepted wisdom that you need 10 to 20 slides to tell your startup story. Many founders don’t seem to realize that not all slides are the same. Some slides carry more weight than others, and three of them are absolutely essential. Today I’m going to show you why those three slides are so important.
The way to use this article is to think about which of these characteristics you have in your startup to help organize your pitch. For example, #1 on this list is drag. If you have amazing traction, it should probably be the first slide in your deck. If your stretch is flat (that is, not increasing or even decreasing), it is bad or non-existent, maybe don’t stress it and instead think about how you can tell your story differently.
1 — Stretch is king
Up and right. Which makes sense. Above and to the left will be time travel, and if you can do that, you have more valuable company than you thought.
Your drag slide is, by some significant margin, your trump card. If you show huge revenue and rapid growth, all other sins are forgiven.
It doesn’t matter if you have an inexperienced team, a terrible product, or a questionable market. If you can show that you have money coming in and growing at 9% or more per week, you will make money.
There is a hierarchy in terms of what type of stretching helps;
- Profit. If you’re cash positive and growing fast, you probably don’t even need venture capital, but if raising cash helps you grow faster, you’re in a great place.
- ARR. If your annual recurring revenue is growing rapidly, you’re in luck. Recurring revenues and SaaS dynamics mean you’re on to something.
- Active users: If you’re growing your user base exponentially without necessarily knowing how to monetize them, that’s still an impressive feat. If you can demonstrate that you can build a huge, sticky audience, you can probably find a way to make money.
- Registrations: If you’re seeing a huge increase in sign-ups for your product or service, but they’re not generating revenue or staying, it still has value, although your traction slide should be paired with a solid “How is this going to make money?” Slide: