Friday, February 23, 2007

Getting the Truth from Entrepreneurs

Going to a networking event with entrepreneurs is a blast. As you go around the room, every entrepreneur that you talk to makes it sound as if their company is on the edge of world domination. "We're about ready to close a huge deal with ..." "Our partnership with so-and-so is starting to really pay off ..."

Of course, 90% of it is total garbage. Most entrepreneurs do not have the physical capability to say anything negative about their comapany. It's like asking a snake to tap dance.

If you want to hear the truth about a male entrepreneurs company, ask his wife. She'll give you the truth.

If you've ever been an entrepreneur leading a bootstrapped pre-cashflow company, you know what I'm talking about. Your buddy asks, "How's business?" You say, "We're stoked about what's happening and we're accomplishing some great things right now." Your wife says, "Yeah. He really likes it and he's having alot of fun. I just hope we get paid soon."

Nine times out of ten she isn't saying it maliciously, she's just telling the absolute truth without any of the fluff. When I began my carreer, Anna unknowingly did this to me a few times. I have since coached her on the art of entrepreneur-speak.

If I were an angel investor, I'd be on the phone with the spouse of every entrepreneur I was looking into financing.

Just in case a few VCs and angels read this and catch on to my idea ... all of you spouses out there, repeat with me, "Business is going very well. I'm excited about this month's revenue!"

Labels: ,

3 Comments:

Anonymous Chad Blodgett said...

I would add that an Angel or VC could also call the Mother-in-law to find the truth too :)

9:02 AM  
Blogger David M. said...

I find your post quite truthful but wonder how many would get funding if they actually told the truth.

I am part of the 10% who actually tells the truth, kind of like writing a resume of your failures. I beleive it is important for me to explain WHY my company is where it is and hasn't taken off yet, what mistakes we have made and how we have learnt from them and corrected them, etc. I even answer my friends honestly, mainly because I never know who they might know and they might introduce me to someone that is actually willing to sit down, listen, assist and even provide some funding.

Ultimately I want potential investors to feel confident that I actually know where I want my company to go and understand its ins and outs - that my SWOT analysis is sound and not designed just to raise capital

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Mukund Mohan said...

In a lot of cases the entrepreneur does not know what's called stage of the sales cycle. They even put initial discussions as momentum or stage "closed". I dont think most entrepreneurs want to lie or overstate the truth, they are just ignorant of the real sales process and its ups and downs.
Mukund

7:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home