06 July 2010

The Six Slide Challenge

I have an outline for a pitch deck that I recommend to clients of VerdeStrategy. It calls for 11 slides (10 if they can, but no more than 11) and goes more or less like this:

  1. Company name/logo/tag, full contact info
  2. What Do You Do? Core Value Proposition
  3. Team (Management/Advisory)
  4. What Pain are you Solving?
  5. How? What's Your Solution/Benefits
  6. Secret Sauce/IP/Differentiation
  7. Go-to-Market Strategy
  8. Competition/True Size of Market/Opportunity
  9. Business Model/Stage
  10. Plausible Financials (Projections for 3-5 years)
  11. The Ask/Milestones/Summary

There's some variation therein, obviously, depending upon the business model or the intended audience. I've gleaned a lot from experts ranging from Garr Reynolds, Guy Kawasaki, and Bill Reichert, among others. As a template, it works pretty well.

A couple of weeks ago, Fred Wilson published a post on investor pitches in which he recommended only six slides. "You can explain your business in mind numbing detail or you can inspire an investor and let them imagine," Fred suggested. "Guess what works better?"

But it was my pal Andy Swan's comments on Fred's post that really got me thinking. He outlined the following six slides:

1. Imagine a world where....
2. Here's how we get there...
3. Known obstacles to overcome
4. The pot of gold
5. Why our team is awesome
6. Routing number for investment

I decided to play around with it on Friday afternoon and try to describe VerdeStrategy, my consulting and advisory firm focused on the cleantech, energy, and environment sectors.

Could I describe VerdeStrategy in six slides using the "Swanified" outline? Could I further get across the essential value proposition we offer in, as Fred stipulated, "six slides that will inspire and leave something for the imagination"? It was a challenge I couldn't resist.

Here is my first take. Let me know what you think:

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