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When talking to an investor, who are you trying to convince?

By on December 13, 2010

You’re putting together a document to raise investment. You want to ensure you have every nuance of your business covered so that the investor can see how brilliant your plan is. You expect to have an hour with him or her to showcase your expertise, knowledge, enthusiasm and skill.


After all, you have to convince him or her to invest, right?

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Who are you trying to convince?

if you are trying to convince anyone other than an angel, you need to convince an investment committee.

Here’s the hard part: you will never get to meet that investment committee.

All of your brilliance, charisma and knowledge won’t count for a damn. The person you are currently presenting to will need to present your plan, in turn, to a sceptical audience. (Don’t think this doesn’t matter with angels: their “investment committee” is likely to be a wife or a husband, who are often far more sceptical than professional committees).

What does this mean?

  • Your brilliant idea should be summarized in a single sentence
  • The evidence for market size/growth should be clear, simple and memorable (and make sure you provide external evidence to your go-betweens. They will want to check your stats for themselves to make sure they aren’t being taken for patsies)
  • The reasons you are going to win should be believable, defensible and based on evidence (track record, current market position, proven customers etc)

Whenever you are talking to an investor, you are not trying to convince them. You are trying to give them the ammunition they need to convince their own sceptical and ill-informed audience.

Make their job easier, and you have just increased your chances of securing investment massively.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: