"The question for the investor becomes twofold. "How do you build a distribution advantage after you have a product/market fit?" he asks. And also whether or not the platform would reach an apex and then decline. "We’ve seen a number of recent apps that showed promise and quickly faded away," [Gus Tai] observes." "That said, all startups must have the point of view that they are different," he explains. "If you aren’t easily understood as being different, the customer will forget or confuse you." In the case of Airbnb, the value proposition was familiar enough, but they had better merchandising, matching capabilities, and better execution. "An entrepreneur driven by passion may not be as calibrated for energy expending." There’s no easy answer, says Tai. It helps to have a team of founders who have worked together in the past and who can support each other. It suggests an ease of communication and a culture that is already established, says Tai.
AirBnB original pitch deck. "One question he raises when looking at this from the standpoint of being asked to invest in a Series A is, "Yes, I could believe a team should win [with this model], but why should it be this team?"" Problem: 1) CUSTOMERS care about price 2) HOTELS leave you disconnected from the city and its culture 3) NO EASY WAY ALREADY EXISTS to book a room with a local or become a host Solution - a platform where users can: - Make money (when hosting) - Save money (when traveling) - Share culture (local connection to the city)
Buzzfeed original pitch deck. "World-class pitch" - Gus Tai Revenue model: - Free, open platform for launching buzz Premium services for paying clients: - Advertising as Content - Distributed Promotion: Widgets & Ads - Premium Tools & Extras - Trend Targeting
Youtube original pitch. "When YouTube’s founders make a bid to raise funding, they had less than 10,000 users and only 100,000 views per day. Contrast that with growth to over a billion users who watch 7 billion videos per day." Original vision: "The company's goal is to become the PRIMARY OUTLET of user-generated video content on the Internet, and to allow anyone to UPLOAD, SHARE and BROWSE this content." "Digital video recording technology is for the first time cheap enough to mass produce and integrate into existing consumer products, such as digital photo cameras and cell phones, giving anyone the ability to create video content anytime, anywhere. As a result, user generated video content will explode." PROBLEM: Video content is currently difficult to share: - Video files are too large to e-mail (Emails with video attachments bounce) - Video files are too large to host (viewing just fifty videos at 20Mb each means serving 1GB of bandwidth - exceeding most website quotas). - No standardization of video file formats. To view many video file formats means having to install many different video players and video codecs. - Videos exist as isolated files. There is no interaction between viewers. There is no interrelation between videos. SOLUTION: Consumers upload their videos to YouTube. YouTube takes care of serving the content to millions of viewers. YouTube's video encoding backend converts uploaded videos to Flash video, which works in any web browser supporting Flash. (Flash penetration is 97.6% of Web users according to Macromedia) Flash video is a highly compressed streaming format that begins to play instantly. Unlike other delivery methods, it does not require the viewer to download the entire video file before viewing. YouTube provides a community that connects users to videos, users to users, and videos to videos. Through these integrating features, videos receive more views, and users spend more time on YouTube. Because these features are similar to Flickr, YouTube is often referred to as "the Flickr of Video".
LinkedIn Series B pitch deck. "Problem: There is no effective, trusted way for professionals to find and transact with each other online."
AppNexus original pitch
Dwolla pitch deck