In the second half of 2009 we pitched Pardot to 29 different VCs. Over the course of four months we met with a number of VCs in Atlanta and flew to Silicon Valley twice, Boston once, and Washington D.C. once. Pitching VCs is great in that you get a chance to engage with really smart people, share the vision, and hear feedback.
Only, the feedback is driven by their view of the world and personal experiences. After the 15th conversation whiplash starts to set in from all the different recommended actions — target this market, make this pricing change, think bigger, etc. Ideas get tossed around at a rapid clip, and as an eager entrepreneur seeking capital, the instinct is to look on fondly and nod ‘yes’ to each suggestion.
When going into conversations with VCs, have a clear opinion and vision (no different than talking with customers and prospects), so that any suggestions can be put against the plan with a clear head. More ideas and recommendations will stress test the vision, which is fine, but try not to get caught up in the whiplash of different recommendations. Make improvements as necessary and carry on.
What else? What are some other thoughts on the whiplash from pitching VCs?