“It’s the narrative, stupid”
“Despite Steve Job’s aversion to selling by PowerPoint, pitch decks have become the preferred option, and for early stage startups, narrative is more important than hard data. Identifying a secular trend is the key. Maybe it’s the Zuckerberg effect.”
In Silicon Valley, for example, most venture capitalists (and entrepreneurs) have foregone the bulky Business Plan in favour of a short PowerPoint (pitch deck) plus an Executive Summary, plus a pro forma, that lets them understand the entrepreneur’s business proposition, market size, goals, direction and management team in just a few moments (VCs are very busy people). Despite Steve Job’s aversion to selling by PowerPoint, pitch decks have become the preferred option, and for early stage startups, narrative is more important than hard data. Identifying a secular trend is the key. Maybe it’s the Zuckerberg effect.
Do you even need a business plan?
There are three kinds of business plans
Operational Business Plans — For established companies, a business plan can be an important source of guidance to top managers. […] an operational business plan must be lengthy — typically well in excess of 40 pages and sometimes as long as 100.
And then there’s this
|Executive summary developed by Massive Damage|
- Keep it to one page if possible, it’s a summary, not a pitch.
- If you have no eye for design, hire one or get a designer friend to help out.
- If you have metrics, put the good stuff front and center. Feel free to use vanity metrics for big impact but make sure you also have engagement metrics.
- Leave enough room for your Team section. Use pictures and previous startups/accomplishments.
- Include awesome visuals. Sure you can’t use zombies for every startup but give it some personality. Use bold infographics or charts.