Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Violet Gray was a Venture Capitalist

Violet was Lucy's snobby friend on the Peanuts cartoon. My first 'imprint' of entrepreneurship and getting told 'no'...was learned when I was probably about 12...and it was a cartoon.

Here's the frame by frame...play by play breakdown.

Frame 1: The 'Inspiration'...a Peanuts character (forgot which one) was watching her cat play with a crumpled up piece of paper.

Frame 2: The 'Idea'...a lightbulb on top of the character..with thought bubble...crumble up pieces of paper and sell them as cat toys.

Frame 3: The 'Pitch'...going door to door selling cat toys in an over the shoulder product holder...like what you see at baseball games; peanuts, popcorn, beer here.........but they were cat toys.

Frame 4: The 'Putdown'...Violet says, "why would I buy this from you, when I can just crumble up a piece of paper myself".

I've heard from many people in our industry that you need to pitch, pitch and pitch some more. Even Guy K jokes...when is an Entrepreneur pitching?...when his/her mouth is moving.

Here is my learning from Violet..she was right. There was a serious flaw in the process from "idea > sales".

Something I've learned, that should have been more obvious...when you pitch, listen too.

I was given this advice..and didn't listen. If you pitch 20 times and don't get a term sheet...something is wrong. Not sure I am listening. Don't make my mistake.

btw...Violet is a real pain which makes it harder to hear her.

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