Miles Jennings

personal site & blog

An overly professional bio website for Miles Jennings

Don't Worry about the Wrong Questions from Investors

When you meet an investor in-person, they'll usually A) be extremely helpful (it's almost their business) and B) ask lots of great questions.

B (the great questions) is a lot of what drives A (the helpfulness), as the right questions make you think about your business in a different way. The right questions may be challenging, but they are also a vital process for growth. 

If you have no one challenge you, you can't grow, and your business stagnates. As a rule of thumb, investors are a savvy lot, and fill that role of challenger.

One thing to know is that some investors and investment clubs use automated screening programs to weed out valuable startups. Programs like Gust give investors the tools to ask up-front questions about your business.

The automated questions are where things go wrong.

I remember one time that I was applying through one of these automated screening platforms. One of the questions was this (I believe I'm quoting this right, as it was years ago):

"Can your technology be characterized by the presentation of fields, that a user completes, which then causes workflow events to take place because of the content of these entries?"

I kid you not.

Now that's a doozy of a question. It's meant to screen out companies that are not pure technology in the highest sense. 

However, it's also a terrible question. Especially in the first few years of their existence, Uber fits this broad characterization, as does Facebook, Quora, Yelp, and Angie's List. They would have been screened out.  

Take investor input seriously. Consider their questions and criticism carefully and learn from them. But don't take every question to heart, especially feedback or questions that are driven by automation instead of discussion.

Not every company is right for every investor, and not every investor is going to be right for you.

 

Website o' Miles Jennings

Copyright CT Capital Partners, LLC | All Rights Reserved