VC Minute – quick advice to help startup founders fundraise better.
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When you get negative feedback, here’s what I would say about that: I have never been able to convince an investor who believes something that they are wrong about it.
Maybe other people can, but to me, if they say, “This is why I don’t have conviction about your company, I’m like, “Cool, nice to meet you, okay, bye. I just received the feedback, “I hear you. It sounds like we’re not the best fit for you. Point well taken.”
I have tried before. I remember one that passed on us, and I was actually frustrated with them because they went all the way to talking to our customers, and they booked these calls with our customers. They booked these calls with some of our board members, and then they decided to pass, and then they canceled all those calls. And so, I felt like you should have just gone forward with those calls because you asked our customers for this time, and they set aside this time for you.
So, I sent him back a lengthy email about all the reasons that he was saying that they weren’t going to invest and the reasons that he was wrong. And it was completely a waste of my time. He’s passed; he’s done; it’s fine.
I don’t usually take this approach, but a few of my early advisors, I remember, used to tell me, “Prove them wrong by winning. I don’t really have one of those; I’ll show you. I’m more like, “Oh man, that hurts.
What I really struggled with was believing that investors knew better than I did. So, when an investor would pass, I would often think they knew, and I was wrong. Probably other founders are like, “They’re wrong and I’m right. But I wasn’t that way.
And I’ve had to kind of grow in my thinking; I actually know more about my business and the industry of clinical supervision than literally anyone. I am well-versed in having an opinion on this subject and knowing my market.
And if they don’t see it, that’s cool. And maybe it was something I could do better or differently. That’s cool, too. I’ll take that feedback. Or maybe they just don’t see it. And that’s okay too. But there are enough other people who will see it, so I’m going to just move on to the next one.
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