Founder's pitch me their startup ideas

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI


In this pitch feedback session, founders present their startups to receive critique and guidance on enhancing their pitches. Luke introduces Pixels, a web 3 gaming platform with significant user growth without ad spend, facing questions about its sustainability beyond the crypto bull market. Austin pitches Howie, an email-based scheduling assistant that outperforms traditional booking tools, highlighting its rapid user adoption and potential to expand beyond scheduling. Omar presents On Inbox, an open-source email platform offering customized communication workflows, with the discussion focusing on tightening the narrative and emphasizing traction. Key takeaways include the importance of aligning pitches with market and customer needs, the power of traction in storytelling, and the necessity for founders to defend their business's unique position effectively.

Summary Notes

Pitch Session Overview

  • The episode's focus is on a pitch session where founders present their business ideas.
  • The host provides feedback to help founders improve their pitches significantly.
  • There is an emphasis on the difficulty of pitching, referencing Jeff Bezos and Airbnb founders' experiences.

"Founders are going to come on and I'm going to hear their pitch and I'm going to give them feedback and help them make it a 100 times better."

  • The quote sets the stage for the episode's content, indicating a focus on assisting founders in refining their business pitches.

Founder Introduction and Company Overview

  • Luke, the founder of a company called Pixels, introduces his company.
  • Pixels focuses on the next generation of gaming using Web 3.0 technology.
  • The company has achieved significant user engagement and has a valuable cryptocurrency.

"My name is Luke I'm the founder of a company called Pixels...Pixels is sitting at about like 400,000 daily active's sitting at a market cap of something like 440 million as of like 10 minutes ago."

  • This quote introduces the founder and his company, providing context on the company's current status in terms of user base and market capitalization.

Business Model and Growth Strategy

  • Pixels aims to grow games without spending money on advertising.
  • The company believes in the play-to-earn model and has achieved growth without ad expenditure.
  • Pixels views Web 3.0 gaming as the future of consumer application evolution.

"We're trying to figure out is basically how can you grow games without spending money on ads...we've grown to this level of users without spending any money on Advertising."

  • This quote explains the company's growth strategy, emphasizing organic growth without reliance on traditional advertising methods.

Monetization and Market Position

  • Pixels has a successful monetization strategy even in a bear market.
  • The company has been profitable, selling battle passes within the game.
  • There is a focus on aligning metrics with Web 2.0 games before and after implementing monetization.

"We were monetizing the bear Market actually quite well...we were making about month in profit through selling these battle passes inside of the game."

  • The quote details the company's ability to monetize effectively during a bear market, highlighting the success of its in-game monetization strategy.

Market Dynamics and User Acquisition

  • The shift from a bear to a bull market is seen as an opportunity to accelerate user acquisition.
  • Tokens are used to create incentive structures for user retention and monetization.
  • The company is experimenting with using market dynamics to their advantage.

"Now that the bull market is here this is our time to really pour fire onto user acquisition...that's kind of like free user acquisition money if you use it properly."

  • This quote discusses the strategic approach to leveraging market conditions to enhance user acquisition and growth.

Fundraising Strategy and Valuation

  • Pixels is undergoing a non-traditional fundraising process due to its live token on the market.
  • The company seeks a balance in the types of fundraising and acknowledges a high valuation.
  • The fundraising context includes targeting investors who would receive a discount on the token.

"This is a less traditional raise that we're going through right now...we're raising at like quite High valuation now just due to where markets at where the tractions at."

  • The quote outlines the company's unique fundraising approach and the high valuation due to market conditions and company traction.

Equity Considerations and Governance

  • Luke, as a solo founder, is contemplating the implications of raising equity.
  • The company has not needed to raise equity previously but is considering it due to valuation and ethical considerations.
  • There is an acknowledgment of the complexities in pricing the company within the crypto market.

"I'm a solo founder um so board member right now um and actually now it's at the valuation where it's's actually probably more ethical for me to have a board."

  • This quote reflects the founder's thoughts on corporate governance and the potential need for a board due to the company's increasing valuation.

Conclusion and Reflection

  • The founder reflects on the company's position and the challenges of pricing in the crypto market.
  • There is a consideration of both the advantages and disadvantages of raising equity at this stage.
  • The discussion ends with an acknowledgment of the difficulty in pricing the company due to the volatile nature of the crypto market.

"It's kind of hard to price us given like huge crypto."

  • This final quote encapsulates the challenge faced by the founder in determining the company's value in a highly dynamic and volatile market.

Pitching Strategy in Crypto Dynamics

  • Lead with traction to capture attention immediately.
  • Highlight longevity and performance during market downturns.
  • Show revenue or profit metrics to establish growth and success.
  • Use the initial traction as a foundation to explain the business.

"I would lead fully with the traction first... We've been around for X amount of years even during the bear market we were pulling in profit or cash or Revenue... now we're doing this much."

  • This quote emphasizes the importance of leading a pitch with strong traction indicators, such as longevity and financial performance, to immediately engage potential investors or partners.

Effective 60-Second Pitches

  • A 60-second pitch requires distillation of the most compelling aspects of a business.
  • It's a foundational pitch from which longer pitches can be extrapolated.
  • The pitch should be framed to highlight unique aspects of the business.

"One of the coolest things about a 60-second pitch is that's the pitch you extrapolate everything out of."

  • This quote suggests that a concise 60-second pitch is crucial as it forms the basis for all other extended pitches and presentations.

Cryptocurrency Market Characteristics

  • Crypto is described as "hot, new, and weird," indicating its current trendiness and complex nature.
  • Understanding crypto's uniqueness is essential for framing a pitch.
  • The pitch should address both monetization and growth within the context of crypto's distinct market.

"Crypto is always weird. He's got so much to play with and so many ways to frame this narrative."

  • The quote points out the idiosyncrasies of the cryptocurrency market, which provide a rich narrative for a compelling pitch.

Web 3.0 vs. Web 2.0

  • Web 3.0 differs significantly from the traditional internet (Web 2.0).
  • A pitch for a Web 3.0 business should reflect these differences.
  • The focus should be on how the business can capitalize on Web 3.0's distinct features for monetization and growth.

"It wasn't until I really sat there and thought about it, and then he mentioned how Web 3 is different than Web 2.0... that it really clicked for me what his pitch could be."

  • This quote highlights the importance of recognizing the fundamental differences between Web 3.0 and Web 2.0 and the need to tailor the pitch to these differences.

Introduction of Howie, the Scheduling Assistant

  • Howie is described as the fastest and most responsive email-based scheduling assistant.
  • It operates through natural language interaction, similar to an executive assistant.
  • Early users prefer Howie over booking links for its control and responsiveness.

"Howie is the fastest and most responsive scheduling assistant on Earth... entirely email-based so you can interact with him the way that you would with an executive assistant."

  • This quote introduces Howie, emphasizing its speed, responsiveness, and user-friendly email-based interaction.

Howie's Traction and Growth

  • Howie has been in development for 120 days with significant traction.
  • It has onboarded 30 paying users and has a waitlist of 1500 people.
  • Meeting scheduling metrics show rapid growth in a short time frame.

"We started working on it about 120 days ago... onboarded our first paying users... the waitlist is 1500 people... in January he scheduled 65 real meetings and February 172 and then first seven days of March 75 meetings."

  • This quote provides specific metrics demonstrating Howie's traction and growth, highlighting its success and potential.

Future Potential of Howie

  • The vision for Howie includes replicating the benefits of high-end executive assistants.
  • The goal is to productize the assistant's ability to optimize a user's time and schedule.
  • The focus is on understanding and managing energy levels and preferences for different types of meetings.

"The belief that I have is that all of that can be kind of productized."

  • This quote conveys the founder's vision for Howie's future, where the complex role of an executive assistant is transformed into a scalable, productized service.

Productizing the Executive Assistant (EA)

  • The goal is to make the services of an EA accessible to millions at an affordable price point.
  • The initial focus is on scheduling tasks, as it's the most straightforward entry point and a significant time-waster for professionals.
  • The long-term vision includes optimizing the structure of an individual's day and week, providing insights before meetings, and coordinating follow-ups.

"We want to give that magic of a person who works around the clock to make your calendar work for you to millions of professionals."

  • This quote underlines the core mission of making EA services widely accessible.

"The belief is that like finding a time for a meeting, coordinating, creating the calendar invite, some of those things are the low hanging fruit."

  • This quote highlights the initial areas of focus for the productization of EA tasks.

Importance of the 'Wedge' in Business

  • A 'wedge' is a strategic entry point for a business to defend its unique position in the market.
  • Discussing the repetitive tasks that EAs perform and how they can be automated is crucial to defending the business's wedge.
  • The ultimate goal is to ensure that the task of calendaring is fully automated, freeing up time for EAs and users.

"I think what you're defending in your business is your wedge so the way you defend the wedge is by talking about why this wedge is important."

  • This quote emphasizes the need to justify the business's unique approach and its significance in the market.

"We're going to stay in the area until we are 100% sure the repetitive task of calendaring is not anyone's problem anymore."

  • This quote outlines the commitment to solving a specific problem before expanding into other areas.

The Big Picture and Future Vision

  • The vision is to eliminate the need for manual scheduling and calendaring, similar to how MailChimp democratized enterprise email tooling.
  • The strategy involves starting with a narrow focus and then expanding into other areas once the initial problem is solved.
  • The approach is compared to MailChimp's strategy of starting with a free service and then building premium features.

"The new way is you don't even have to worry about it and the EA doesn't have to worry about it and the machine's doing it."

  • This quote describes the ideal future state where the product has fully automated the tasks traditionally performed by EAs.

"This is about the most important thing in people's lives, their time."

  • This quote captures the ultimate value proposition of the service: saving people's time.

The Role of Experience and Expertise in Pitching

  • Drawing on experience and conducting thorough research are crucial when pitching a business idea.
  • Mentioning past successes and the number of EAs consulted can add credibility to the pitch.
  • It's important to convey not only the current focus of the business but also the larger vision and potential impact.

"He probably talked to a ton of EAs and he used that to figure out what should he be doing, what is the right starting point for what he's doing."

  • This quote suggests the importance of research and understanding the market when determining the business strategy.

"He was missing in the pitch like what's a big picture where does go."

  • This quote points out the necessity of including the broader vision in a pitch to give a complete picture of the business's potential.

Introduction of Inbox as a Commercial Open Source Email App

  • Inbox is described as a modern email experience for businesses, with customizable communication workflows.
  • The product is positioned as a solution to managing overwhelming and disorganized email inboxes.

"An inbox is a commercial open source email app and platform that gives businesses a modern email experience with tools for customizable communication workflows."

  • This quote provides a brief introduction to the Inbox product and its value proposition for businesses.

(Note: The transcript cuts off mid-sentence, and therefore, the notes end at the last complete idea presented.)

Customer Service Scenario

  • Email-based customer service can be slow and manual, causing delays in response and potential customer churn.
  • Competitors using an inbox system can automate responses and quickly involve the necessary personnel, such as CTOs and engineers, to address issues.
  • Automated systems can wake up on-call engineers to fix problems and update all parties promptly.
  • The difference in customer experience between manual and automated email systems is significant, with the latter offering a more efficient and responsive service.

"When the customer emailed saying they've got a problem with their service and it's down, 15 minutes later the CTO was added to the conversation automatically, 10 minutes after that the on-call engineer was added to the conversation and woken up using their pager of Duty or whatever other system; engineer fixes everything, leaves a note on the conversation saying this is what happened."

  • This quote describes the efficiency of an automated inbox system where key personnel are quickly involved in a customer service issue, leading to a swift resolution.

Pitching a Product

  • When telling a story to pitch a product, it is important to make it concise and directly relevant to the audience's interests.
  • The unique aspects of a product, especially those that differentiate it from competitors, should be clearly highlighted.
  • A pitch should close with compelling information about the product's traction, even if it is in pre-launch.

"I would 100% recommend if you're going to tell a story, make it way tighter... the most important thing is the close on a pitch."

  • This quote emphasizes the importance of brevity and focus in storytelling for a pitch, and the necessity of a strong closing that showcases the product's traction.

Open Source Email Client

  • An open-source email client can offer customizable workflows that are not currently available in existing email solutions.
  • Embedding these workflows can significantly enhance the email experience for businesses.
  • Investors may have biases or interests that align with the product being pitched, such as open-source solutions or email system disruption.

"We're not just an open-source email client; we've discovered workflows that need to be embedded in email that are not today."

  • The quote highlights the unique selling proposition of the product, which is the integration of workflows into an open-source email client.

Investor Perspective

  • Investors are often looking for products that fit into their current interests or investment thesis.
  • A pitch that aligns with an investor's focus areas, like email as a key component of a productivity suite, can be very persuasive.
  • The ability to convey the product's traction in a way that resonates with the investor's understanding of the market is critical.

"I truly believe if you were to build a productivity Suite, you need email in a big way as part of your Suite like Google and Microsoft have."

  • This quote reflects the investor's belief in the importance of email in productivity suites, which aligns with the pitched product's value proposition.

Reflections on Pitch Feedback

  • Founders often stay in the idea phase longer than necessary when trying to raise funds.
  • Demonstrating traction is crucial, but it must be presented in a way that aligns with the customer's needs and market opportunity.
  • Consistent patterns in pitch feedback highlight the importance of aligning the product story with the narrative that resonates with investors.

"Traction beats everything else except when you don't know how to describe the traction in a way that aligns with your customer and your opportunity."

  • This quote summarizes the lesson that while traction is paramount, the way it is communicated must be in sync with how the product meets customer needs and market demands.

Conclusion of the Podcast

  • The episode concludes with a reminder that the show offers pitch feedback sessions for founders.
  • The podcast production credits are mentioned.

"If you want to join the show yourself and pitch me and get my feedback, go to heaton.. show. The show is produced by super mix."

  • This quote provides information on how listeners can participate in the show and acknowledges the production team.

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