Does your grandma get the idea…?

Good question. Do you succeed in making people understand your idea? Or does your presentation only raise eyebrows? Will your grandma understand your idea?

Executive managers and investors are “grandfathers”. (Sometimes they really are…) Your idea is probably based on some kind of technology. They usually are not familiar with your technology. They have no clue what you are talking about. They live in a different world. They wonder why you expect them to do something, why they should invest and what could be the return if they decide to invest. They talk in terms of IRR (Internal Rate of Return), NPV (Net Present Value) and FCF (Free Cash Flow ).

For them, investing in an idea is taking a risk. They (executive managers, board members) hate to take risks. Their main task as a manager is to avoid or eliminate risk, and they are usually very good at it. If you explain your idea, and only a few (or none of them) understands what you are talking about, then you are wasting everybody’s time, and nobody will be willing to invest in your idea.

You can only hope that they will consider to invest if you succeed in explaining them that the risk they will take is under control. The first step is to make sure everybody without exception perfectly understands your idea.

You are allowed to do everything possible to reach that goal. Everything. No exception. Remember, you usually get only one chance.

So, if you change your initial presentation in such a way that you can make your grandma understand your idea with three slides, then chances are that all “grandfathers” will get your idea.

If you recognize this issue and you need any help with it, then don’t hesitate to contact us.

d3o1In 2007, I attended the Final Event of the European Venture Contest in Barcelona. Some 17 startups (the result of some 576 startups from all over Europe) presented their idea to a jury of investors.One startup (now d3o) presented some new material that absorbed impact better than any other known material. The presenter called it The Future Goro-Tex (material used to arm ski outfits, motorcycle outfits including jackets, trousers, gloves and footwear).

The presenter was wearing some kind of ski trousers with big patches on his knees made of this new material. To present his idea he took an army shovel from his backpack and he hit his knee with the shovel as hard as he could. Wearing an ordinary jeans he would probably have passed out and hospitalized…

A very impressive demo!

A jury member asked: “What’s next? What will be your next product?” (How sustainable is your idea…? If this becomes a success, what will you do after five years?) d3o2The guy replied:”Jesus will be able to walk on the water!” In their research department, they were experimenting with a liquid with similar properties and they already succeeded in walking on this liquid without going down, they could “walk on the water”….

I must admit he was a great presenter. The 17 jury members were fascinated by his story and they all 17 perfectly understood the idea and the opportunity. The presenter didn’t say a single word about the chemical structure of the material….

D3O and D3O labs is today an important player in the market of Impact Protection.



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