I have seen thousands of business pitches and rarely left a pitch being able to retell the story of that idea. Why can’t the founder clearly pitch their idea? And why doesn’t the founder know they failed, why do they believe they did a great pitch?
I needed to make my pitch to help founders make their pitch.
Working with science and technology founders, I pulled a page from physics and started looking at first principles, a style of thinking that is attributed to Aristotle and his quest to identify “the first basis from which a thing is known.” Simply put, what is the very first thing you know about the problem you are trying to solve? The first principle of a pitch is to convey a business idea so the audience can retell the story to the next person, passing the idea into the world.
What is the indisputable truth of a business idea? The company why, its purpose, its grand vision of a new norm in which the product has solved the business problem, is the essence of the business idea.
What is the indisputable truth of storytellers? Storytellers know their why. They know the purpose of the story and they put that moral of the story into the audience.
Finally, what is the indisputable truth of storytelling? Seven easy sentences starting with “Once upon a time” and ending with “And ever since that day,” the Story Spine.
I had my pitch, The First Principles Pitch.
Rafferty has taken technology and CPG companies through hyper-growth, investments, global expansion, mergers, acquisitions and IPO from the Beats by Dr. Dre brand sale to Apple Inc. for $3B (including Beats Music), to The North Face and Vans brands reaching over $1B in sales in North America, to taking Ubiquity Software public on the Alternative Investment Market on the London Stock Exchange and selling it to Avaya, Inc. Now, she uses her many years of operational experience scaling startups and globally expanding businesses to guide high growth startups as a Member of the Board of Directors or Company Advisor.