Fred Haney: Is Your Product Really Better?

Have you ever wondered what venture capitalist looks for in a startup? Or what is going through an investor’s mind during a pitch deck presentation? Continue reading if you want to find out! The SBEC is lucky enough to have Fred Haney as one of our mentors. He is a venture capital fund manager, private investor and entrepreneur with ample experience. As the founder of Monday Club, he regularly listens to pitches from hopeful entrepreneurs.

Here is what Fred has to say:
One mistake a lot of presenters make is to simply say their product/service is simply ‘better’ than existing competition. Of course it is, but that doesn’t really answer the question an investor is asking. An investor wants to know, “How much ‘better’ is it? Is it ‘enough better’ to prompt a customer to buy it?” And, “How do we know that it will be “enough better” in five years, or so, when we want to sell the company?”

The concept of ‘enough better’ is important. It forces the presenter to define and quantify what it means by ‘better.’ And it forces the presenter to confront the question, “How much better does a product need to be in order to compel customers to buy it?” Usually, ‘incremental improvement’ is not enough to force people to purchase. Products generally need to be 50% or 100% ‘better’ in order to get someone’s attention, and their advantage needs to be ‘sustainable’ over a long period of time.

As always, the SBEC is thankful to have such seasoned mentors on board that support entrepreneurship. Let us know your thoughts on Fred’s words in the comments!

Fred Haney: SBEC Mentor

Fred Haney
Owner, Venture Management