I have emphasized the importance of using a customer-centric approach in structuring your slides and related discussions. It is important that I expand on this topic relative to this slide since there are several “trapdoors” in how entrepreneurs handle this discussion, which can catch the unwary off guard and derail the pitch.


The biggest way to get off on the wrong track is to start Slide  without first discussing your target customers. Many entrepreneurs start by emphasizing what their engineers are enthusiastic about and what they think would be cool and attractive to customers. Some groups also begin by sharing details of superficial customer surveys or anecdotal data from salespeople or other intermediaries. If this is or has been your approach, it will come out loud and clear on this slide—and you will be dead in the water from this point forward. You need to approach this slide after first having significant and personal quality interactions with your target customers regarding how they buy similar solutions. These interactions provide you with critical insights that savvy investors will recognize. Conversely, if you lack these experiences, you will raise red flags as you describe your strategy. As a very important sidebar, a CEO needs to go out and rub elbows with key current and target customers every week.


Do not leave these interactions to your sales or marketing people.