What do a Haitian gangster, Stanford drop out and a South Beach wannabe have in common? If you’ve watched Netflix’s new series ‘Startup’, you know the answer.
If you haven’t seen the show yet, you’re missing out. If you’re currently binge watching, I’ll try to keep the details to a minimum so there’s no spoiler alerts 🙂
The series is essentially an R-Rated ‘Silicon Valley’ that’s set in Miami and tells the story of three strangers who come together and build a cryptocurrency startup called GenCoin (using laundered drug money – ha).
As I was watching (4 episodes in one night), I couldn’t help but laugh at how painfully true the parallels of the show are with the real world. There’s one scene in particular where the prestigious Miami Venture Capitalist invites the GenCoin team to swim at his South Beach mansion (as if!). The investor tells the team he believes their code is impressive, he understands the problem and he has his head wrapped around the size of the opportunity – what he wants to know is why them.
I actually laughed out loud. The famous ‘why you’ question that we coach our clients on day in and day out was playing out in front of me on the small screen. You see – during a Series Seed and even a Series A, it’s less about the company and more about the team.
Although we don’t recommend our clients go to pool parties and take tequila shots with their potential investors, having a genuine and honest answer to this question is critical. Your response becomes the reason why you and your co-founders are able to work through 99 ‘no’s’ to get 1 ‘yes’.
As you move forward in your own fundraising journey, take a minute to sit down with your team (probably over a beer or two) and talk through this. Ask yourselves, ‘Why are we the best team to bring this idea to life?’ and ‘Where does our passion come from?’ Think of it as evaluating the ‘heart’ vs the ‘head’ of your startup. Ultimately, this reflection (or Founder Therapy, as I like to call it) is a great opportunity to get everyone on the same page and remind each other of the exciting opportunity you’re pursuing.
You don’t have to create the cookie cutter answer that you think an investor wants to hear – in fact, I would advise against it. Now I’m not saying your ‘why’ has to be as dramatic as you wanting to do good because your dad is a wanted FBI fugitive or your family was black mailed by the Cuban mob because they needed a loan to start their business (lol) – just keep it real and be yourself. Don’t forget – they’re making an investment in you. Be a founder worth betting on.