It’s always the same for me.
The very best entrepreneurs can take the first 10, 15, 20, 100 customers … the handful they have today … and explain the entire >> future << of the industry & their start-up, their solution, and how it all fits together. And how this creates a Unicorn.
I’m always blown away by this around Minute 20 or so. How they explain the future.
Not just the Powerpoint version. But the roadmap. How they are going to kill it, upend an industry, totally change it … based not on a dream, but, importantly, on the handful of proof points they have now.
It’s of course not 100% right. But they know it, from the data, from extrapolation. They know how the competition fits in, where the market will be in 2021, what Customer 1000 and 10,000 will look like. The real reasons why they will dominate (not because “my product is 1.1x easier to use”).
An amazing CEO, with at least 10 Unaffiliated Customers, that can truly see the future … I haven’t lost money here yet. And don’t plan to.
By contrast, the CEOs with great traction … but that can’t really see the future. These never produce meaningful returns. Not venture-like returns, at least.