Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Investors Don’t Know What They Want

Posted by on July 17th, 2012

Take a step back and be objective, and U.S. angel investors are hardly a diverse group. Not demographically diverse (sadly, we’re mostly older white men) but in opinions, preferences, and what we want in a deal, for sure.

I strongly recommend a quick tour of the ‘what investors want‘ collection of videos on this site. You’ll find 22 very short videos taken from interviews of some very thoughtful, successful, and influential investors. It’s a bit like an angel investor role call.

What reminded me of diversity was how I was struck yesterday by one of these in which one of the angel investors values certainty very highly. It’s s very short snippet, but the active quote is … 

They can have a great idea. They can have a lot of support behind them, but are they certain about what they’re saying? That certainty is a critical component of what credibility is.

That’s a direct quote from a seasoned, intelligent, and articulate investor included in this series. And it reminds me that I don’t like people who project certainty forward into the future. I respect people who respect uncertainty. Give me conviction, comfort with risk, the ability to move forward … but add to that flexibility to recognize uncertainty is a given and to move quickly to react to changes.

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for funding I seriously recommend you take the half an hour or so and listen to every one of these 22 snippets. Few of them are even a minute long, all of them are substantial.

Written by Tim Berry

user Tim Berry

Tim is the founder of Palo Alto Software and bplans.com, the co-founder of Borland International, and the official business planning coach at Entrepreneur.com. He has been called the "Obi-wan Kenobe of business planning" and "The Father of Business Planning." He is a serial author of books and software on business planning.

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