How To Demo Your Startup

A great "post" by Jason Calacanis (the "first blogger" who stopped blogging and now "posts" by email).  You can go here to read the full email posted on Techcrunch, but in the meantime here are the CliffsNotes:

  1. Show your product within the first 60 seconds.  If you need 5-10 minutes of "background" to introduce your product, something is wrong with your product.  [Makes sense for B2C, but sometimes B2B deals do require background.]
  2. The best products take less than five minutes to demo.  If it takes longer, there’s something wrong with your product.
  3. Leave people wanting more.  This is about remembering what the purpose of your demo is.  A lot of people get caught in the moment and the goal of their demo becomes to delight the audience.  The real goal, of course, is to interest the audience enough to follow up.
  4. Talk about what you’ve done, not what you’re going to do.  Amen.  Talking about what you will do makes no sense until you have established bona fides.  In an elevator pitch you have none so don’t.
  5. Understand your competitive landscape-current and historical.  This is the ante to get into the game.  If you haven’t done your homework, you can’t play.
  6. Short answers are best.  Nuf said.
  7. PowerPoint bullet slides are death.  Remember, PowerPoint doesn’t kill people…bad presenters do.
  8. How to use this new device called the phone. [Sarcasm.  His advice is to use a landline ‘cuz cell phones suck]
  9. How to handle questions you don’t know the answer to.  Think….be honest…think…be honest.  [Jason uses more words, but that’s what he means.]
  10. Always confirm the time of your meeting/call, and always be 15 minutes early.  This is particularly if you’re doing a demo and you need to set up A/V.

Can I just say that it is very annoying that Jason uses email instead of a blog.  It would be nice if FriendFeed added an integration point with email…