Real Market vs Expectations Market — Your Investor Pitch

This is a modified version of a post from the current Leanlaunch Pad session.

One of the most challenging aspects of business today is that the financial world mostly lives in an “Expectations Market” (investing/gambling) and your success as a startup requires that you immerse yourself in a “Real Market” (servicing customers).

As you progress you will eventually need to develop an investor presentation. You will find that these people speak a completely different language than you. It’s mainly because they are “betting on you”. They are not interested in your work. They may say that you have a winner, and that is in context of …

They are interested in knowing that you are interested in your work and are doing it. They are betting on the likelihood of your ability to solve the problem you are working on.

Practicing Your Story in “Gambler Speak” is Important

So you need to practice talking about your work in these terms. The terms of an investor ( or much easier to understand .. that of a gambler). This is what the UBC Tech Ventures class has done very well. Mike Lyons is a master of mapping the “reality story” to the “expectations market”. His style is the opposite of LLP. That is start with what the “expectations” market wants to hear and do the work required to meet that. We are solving “real peoples” problems and couching that need in the words of the “expectations” market. They both end up in the same place. Each is valid. Each has been going on for a long time.

Some Reading – Roger Martin, Dean of UofT B School

Roger Martin, Dean of UofT’s Business School, has written a great book on this subject called, “Fixing the Game”. I highly recommend that you read the first chapter. It summarizes the world you will soon be dealing with. It’s good to know why people respond differently. You can meet them in kind. Show them why you are a low risk. Why can you do it better than the others. That’s what they want to know. They want low risk returns.

Fixing the Game: First Chapter here: