What do investors want?

What do investors want?

  1. Clarity regarding how funds are used: In some cases an entrepreneur has too many projects/ideas (which can be both good and bad) but the company needs to initially be a lot more laser focused. It’s good because it shows the entrepreneur may be willing to “pivot” or adapt to the best potential opportunity. However, it can be bad if it’s distracting and causes the company to lose money.
  2. The path to revenue/profitability needs to be more persuasive
  3. The growth/sales strategy needs to be more persuasive
  4. Milestone based funding to reduce the investor’s risk
  5. Committed entrepreneurs: For example, full time and some cases they have skin in the game.
  6. The upside is explained clearly. For example, creating: a) High growth company (eg. user acquisition b) Creating a cash flowing company c) Creating valuable intellectual property that can be licensed
  7. Regulatory/compliance risks
  8. Barriers to entry
  9. Risk controls (this is a big category). For example:
    1. Budget/cash flow decisions are controlled
    2. Manager/operator do business in a jurisdiction with a good legal system in case something goes wrong
  10. The team’s interests are aligned. You want to ensure that the company can focus on building great things instead of worrying about whether they believe they are fairly treated
  11. Strong management team that works well together
  12. Great product(s) and/or services
  13. Proof that they can get the job done and problem solve
  14. Proof that they can overcome pressure (eg. some investors prefer entrepreneurs that have had setbacks) so that they know that they are dealing with a resilient entrepreneur
  15. Selective and skilled at setting priorities

Bad Assumptions and Pivoting

Unsuccessful people tend to fall victim to bad assumptions, which affirms their existing flawed perceptions of reality. Are bad assumptions due to laziness because thinking and due diligence requires effort? It’s quite odd how many people refuse to evaluate new ideas so they get stuck in life. Successful people I know tend to be able to “pivot” — change their path or strategy based on new ideas/facts.

Successful people tend to be more willing to evaluate new ideas/facts, question assumptions and seize opportunities.

Why Investors Decline Deals

Beyond financial reasons, the following are some reasons why a deal may not be funded:

  • Entrepreneur makes bad assumptions
  • Entrepreneur avoids conflict too much; they’re unwilling to make difficult decisions and having difficult discussions when needed
  • Entrepreneur is a bad listener
  • Entrepreneur is slow and takes a while to implement
  • Scattered entrepreneur who is working on too many things at once
  • Entrepreneur is unreliable
  • Entrepreneur is sloppy
  • Impatient entrepreneur who may rush into bad deals
  • First time entrepreneur hasn’t made mistakes
  • Entrepreneur is too much of a high risk gambler
  • Entrepreneur doesn’t do sufficient research/analysis before making decisions
  • Entrepreneur does not put sufficient capital controls in their business
  • Entrepreneur is too paranoid or not paranoid enough
  • Entrepreneur doesn’t have a track record of success
  • Entrepreneur gives up too easily
  • Entrepreneur doesn’t follow up

Useful Snapchats for Business

The following is by no means a comprehensive list but are just a handful of particularly interesting Snapchats I follow from successful entrepreneurs where I think they’ve posted particularly useful content (in no particular order):

  • tailopez1: Tai Lopez – business and life
  • msuster: Mark Suster – VC  good for deal-making
  • justinkan: Founder of Twitch/Justin.TV & YC cominator partner
  • peterqnguyen: Peter Nguyen – entrepreneur
  • tuan.vy: Tuan Vy – entrepreneur
  • howemoney: Steve Howe – entrepreneur
  • commirza18: Com Mirza – entrepreneur/investor
  • hackapreneur: Justin Wu – entrepreneur


  • I follow other successful entrepreneurs but they may not post as much content related to business.  For example, I follow Chris Sacca, a very smart VC, but he doesn’t post a lot of business related content.
  • I particularly like it when they summarize important business lessons or highlight an important chapter of a book they are reading.
  • I might add to the list as I go along; this a dynamic list
  • My own snapchat is not very useful as I’m somewhat private and have no need to build a large following yet