I made an observation in recent months of participating in a number of startup pitches as I describe as the “Startup Feedback Trap”. Founders that are spending time on the road looking for investors and trying to “please” the investors sometimes take the feedback too far. As humans, we all have our opinions about everything and anything, some are valid and some are not so much yet, we are always glad to give them away. As investors we are not different, we have lots of opinions.
The issue is that many founders want to please the investors so much that they take the feedback to the extreme and in the end, their business looks like a “piecemeal”, a “mishmash” of so many things that do not fit that well together at all. As the saying goes; “you ask ten investors you will get ten different opinions”. Even among inventors, we do not always agree and we all see things differently.
Incorporating feedback from one investor does not mean that it will work for the next one. Founders, remember it is your vision, your business and for better and for worse, you need to stay true to your original idea. Trying to change and adapt your business to the investor’s ears will not always work in your favor, and in many cases, it will definitely not. Yes, we are looking for open-minded founders that can take feedback, yet we expect them to take it with a grain of salt. To know when to use it and when not. After all, we are investing in you, the founder. The bottom line is that we are looking for confident, steadfast, and resilient founders that can stand their ground and prove us wrong.
Do not let “smart ass” investors tear your vision apart. It is about enrolling investors in your vision and not about giving us what we want. We have no intentions or desires to run your business, nor we are not the ones with the burden of proof, you are. Build a team of seasoned business advisors that help you filter the feedback from investors in order to make the best of it, if at all.
So, be selective in your listening, we are not investing in your business, we invest in you.