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Founders Dreams


As a founder you know that dreams are difficult. As Vannevar Bush pointed out “A nation which depends upon others for its new basic scientific knowledge will be slow in its industrial progress and weak in its competitive position in world trade, regardless of its mechanical skill.”

So where is the ‘new basic scientific knowledge” that is going to drive your pitch?

Okay. Never mind. This is a quick feedback overview of your pitch- not mine. You are- as a class globally seeking up to- say- $2 Trillion in funding on the basis of this document, so please pay attention.

1. Business Model? You are either

a. Seeking an existing business process like, home letting, taxi driving or banking- and then porting it wholesale on to an application. Because people live on their phones, it can’t fail, right?

b. Or you are finding a basic human desire like sex or food and brokering the producers and consumers, but is this market shrinking as tech becomes more accessible

c. Or you are offering curated platform content which meets the needs of specific groups

d. Or you are coding machine learning applications relying on chatbots which sell cryptocurrencies in the hope that the new normal will still have enough gamblers

e. Or you are trying — hard- to get your foot in the door of an established discipline such as medicine, education, law or military with a product which is …peripheral to their core function

The way people pay, or access the proposition is not of itself a new business model. Whatever they may tell you.

2. Team? You have a great tech person and a pretty good data science person. You face a couple of problems because you don’t know the technology you are using well. And the specifications for it keep changing. You call this rapid or agile development and hope it’s rapid enough to fool people who also don’t understand the technology, but provide the funding. Your finance person…well, she’s still holding out, but you have every confidence she’ll come around.

3. Market?. Well it’s either limitless- I mean who woulda thought so many people would drink coffee as $4.50 a cup to maintain so many different providers? Or there are the cost reduction effects in B2B when you gamify boring old work in such a way as to enable employees to steal from each other. Whatever market it enters it has to be a gullible market. And sure, the Internet wises people up fast, but you are smart enough to stay ahead in the great competition between the intelligent and stupid which brings us nicely to..

4. Competition? You aren’t stupid enough to tell anyone that there is no competition for your new market entrant. Nobody except you is gonna believe that, are they. Yes, I said except you. You really do think that there is no competition, because it’s your baby. And your baby is SPECIAL. #sigh

5. Innovation? OK it is getting harder. But this is where streaming comes in. And Big Data and IP and…quantum computing….and stuff like that. The only real problem is that technology is just a toolset. And a limited one at that. Tools mediate between humans and their physical and social ‘environments’. And there is not a lot of room left in that space. Even for academics.

6. Ask? Well, it’s gotta be big. No point in asking for small amounts because you are just devaluing your product, right? And this just discourages investors who everybody believes are insane with greed anyway. So.. the bigger the….better?

7. Call to action? Very important. So…something empty but appealing? Renegotiate your reality? Fix the future? Something like that. Gives you enough wiggle room to pivot from coffee shop to remote workspace to AI.

And okay, maybe the pitch seems a little weak. But if two Research Grads from Stamford UNI could turn citation and the Dewey Decimal System (adapted) into Alphabet. And if a guy could found a two trillion dollar company on the basis of Dieter Rams design ideas, well. the sky seems to be the limit.

Or is it all just a dream?




Just another person, probably quite a bit like you

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Peter Stannack

Peter Stannack

Just another person, probably quite a bit like you

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