For many startup founders, the urge to showcase every aspect of their business during a pitch can be strong, but in reality, the disadvantages of oversharing far outweigh the benefits.
No one knows better about a startup than its founders. And for many entrepreneurs, it’s tempting to provide a comprehensive rundown of their startup during their pitch. From technical details to competitive advantages, they seek to address every question that might arise among their stakeholders, including investors, customers, and partners. But does this approach really pay off? The cons, it seems, outweigh the pros.
More information equals less imagination
The human brain is an outstanding phenomenon, it knows how to fill in the details for us, so even with limited information or a partial understanding, in our minds we get a full experience. We read a book and automatically illustrate the characters and the environment in our minds. We hear from a colleague about his last trip in Paris and some of the amazing pasteris he ate there and we can almost smell and feel the taste. We can experience new things and travel to new places by viewing images in our minds, which almost feel real, transporting us to places we might never otherwise experience.
But, as soon as extra information arrives, less imagination and auto fillers are needed. For good and bad, seeing your favorite book character in a movie for the first time can be quite a disappointing moment. The same goes to the realization that the patisserie you just heard of is topped with cinnamon, and doesn’t taste that good.
Information is key and should be used wisely.
Same goes for a startup’s pitch deck, website, collateral etc. While there is no doubt that it’s crucial to explain its offering in a way that people would understand clearly, writing in too much detail can cause misunderstandings and conflicts. There may be a risk of overwhelming non-technical stakeholders by including too much technical information. A long and complicated pitch deck may not be able to communicate the most important aspects of the business. Additionally, covering every aspect of the business may lead to confusion and dilute the message. Focus on communicating the most important aspects of your business to avoid overwhelming your audience and diluting your message.
The right information can improve perceptions
There are some situations in which getting extra information could lead us to change our opinion of someone or something. It’s easy to feel angry at a person until we know their background story, or to think a painting is ugly until we learn it’s painted by our niece.
When demonstrating a product or service for potential customers, it is important to be transparent about any limitations or issues that may arise. This includes being clear about the fact that the product or service is in the beta stage and is still being refined. By setting realistic expectations upfront, potential customers are less likely to be disappointed and more likely to appreciate the product or service for what it is. A great illustration of this principle can be seen in Daybridge, a startup that has developed a new calendar app. Rather than overselling the app’s capabilities, Daybridge opted to include the phrase “Public Beta” alongside their logo, signaling that the product is still in the testing phase. By doing so, they managed to set realistic expectations for their users, resulting in a more favorable impression overall. Communicate not only the current state of your product or service but also its future developments. This will demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement and help manage expectations.
Similarly, if the founders of a startup are young or not experienced enough, it’s important to address any potential concerns that stakeholders may have. This can be done by highlighting the founders’ achievements in their field, or by emphasizing their unique motivation and background to succeed. By doing so, potential investors or partners are more likely to see the founders’ potential and believe in their ability to build a successful business.
Information is key, but must be used wisely
Finding the right balance between providing enough information to convey your startup’s offering and overwhelming your audience is crucial. Keep in mind that the human brain has an amazing ability to fill in the gaps and create a full experience with limited information. Still, transparency and honesty about any limitations or issues can help build trust with potential customers, investors, and partners. By using information wisely and being clear about the most important aspects of your startup, you can lay a strong foundation for building a bold, trustworthy brand.
Cover image source: CrispyMedia