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Show Me The Demo

I just had a meeting with a buddy and he got mad at me because he felt that he'd crossed a threshold in terms of what his technology could achieve and, for whatever reason, I wasn't buying it (enough). It didn't help that the entire conversation was verbal.

Thinking back on the dialog with the benefit of a couple of hours (and a couple of Pinots), I think I'm just at a point in my life now where... I don't need to hear a bunch of words. I just want to see some cool stuff working.

Show me the demo.

Seriously. I really identified with something Fred Wilson said on his blog yesterday. His blog was about how when you're meeting with a VC, you should try and boil down what you want to say to six slides.

Within an hour of his post, there were like 173 comments on avc.com about whether six was the right number. Then in the middle of the argument, he said, look, if you can demo your idea over the Internet, I don't need six slides - in fact I don't need any slides. Just...

Show me the demo.

I guess that's where I'm at. You reach a point where the words form mountains and it becomes really difficult to get around them or over them to the place where the milk and honey is. Which is why it is so refreshing to be able to sit back and watch when someone comes in and slices through all the BS - and demonstrates something that is focused, valuable, fun - and reliable.

There's lots o folks out there that recommend you don't ever do a live demo - because you are risking your chance at getting funding. What a bunch of hooey. I suggest if you're serious about what you're doing and at least halfway competent, you should take this advice and shred it - by doing the best damn demo anyone has seen in ages.

Believe me, that will stand out from the pack.


Sharp John Sharp

John is a Partner at Hatcher Plus, the leading data-driven venture capital investment firm. John has extensive commercial experience at the senior management level, having been the Chief Executive Officer of Authentium, Inc. the Managing Director, Asia, of WorldSpace, and CEO of Hatcher, the precursor company to Hatcher+. A tenacious and driven executive with longstanding board-level and C-suite level management experience within high-growth companies, John also brings a strong history of capital raising from an extensive network of investors globally. As Chairman and CEO of cybersecurity pioneer Authentium (acquired by CYREN in 2010), John co-authored three US patents and developed and sold cybersecurity solutions to some the largest organizations in the world, including the US Department of Commerce, NASA, AOL, British Telecom, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, and Telstra. As CTO at Hatcher+, DocDoc, Heardable, and ThoughtRiver, John has designed and developed several highly-innovative technology platforms using cutting-edge approaches to data processing, user interface design, and workflow optimization. John is a frequent blogger and an in-demand speaker at venture events globally, and has extensive experience implementing ESG solutions as Chairman and/or board member of numerous start-ups, including director roles at trade finance provider ASYX and payment aggregator Mozido, and roles as Chairman of MENA-based financial services pioneer Telr, and the leading Cambridge-based legal services technology company, ThoughtRiver.