It is common when entrepreneurs are pitching to investors for those investors to offer lots of suggestions. After all, that’s our job, right? To provide value add, guidance, etc. When you invest at the seed level, little is set in stone. Pivots are expected. Still, when someone suggests something new, think hard about whether that suggestion is consistent with your vision.
As I think back on recent meetings with companies, there have been several occasions where suggestions were answered with “why not?”. For relatively minor suggestions that’s all good. And one of the hallmarks of a great investment opportunity is that there are multiple paths to success with it. But if an investor proposes major shifts such as different goto market approaches, positioning, feature sets, etc the answer should never by “why not”.
To me, this answer could be a red flag, suggesting a potential lack of vision clarity or focus. You need to be laser-focused on your vision and even more so on that 1st MVP. Too many “why not”s can see you experience major delays and increased burn.
These questions and suggestions are not traps. We are just stress testing your idea, getting up to speed on it and seeing how big it can be. But an entrepreneurs answers to these suggestions, no matter how minor, are important. It helps us rate you and your command over the domain and opportunity.
Seed success is measured by number of iteration cycles. “Why not”s along the way can reduce the # of cycles you have and slow you down.
So, next time an investor throws a curve ball your way, don’t rush to accept it. Test it against your vision. If it works, great. If not, reject it. You can’t do everything the more focused you are out of the gate, the better…