A simple recipe: Success is the absence of defeats, not a victory.


What are you as an entrepreneur focusing on in your daily struggle to success? Are you looking for a victory or are you making sure not to be defeated? Be aware of this simple recipe: Success is the absence of defeats, not a victory. A victory is the inevitable result of preventing defeats. This is my central statement.

What does that mean for your startup? Let’s have a look at a critical aspect in the life of an entrepreneur: The often long and windy road to getting funded.

The art of how to get investors on board is definitely one of the – if not THE – most actively discussed topic in the startup sphere. Having been sitting on both sides of the table – as an entrepreneur and as an investor – I don’t think that there is something as a perfect pitch. Most entrepreneurs sift through gazillions of recommended slides and styles. Many VCs have their preferred pitch styles – some even expect you to build your presentation based on their frameworks.

My experience: there are as many perfect pitches as there are audiences. I have seen – and prepared – pitches marked as “super” by one investor and torn apart by the next one. In other words: the best possible pitch is the one which persuades the individual(s) sitting on the other side of the table at that very moment.

But – how to prepare such a pitch? Or – is there such a pitch – or shouldn’t you prepare as many decks as you have invitations?

No – I don’t think you have to do that. What you should do is to prepare a flawless pitch without any major deficiencies. More you can’t do, and more you shouldn’t do: most of you will have lots more than 20 pitches before the first investor gets excited. That said, the best thing you can do is to prepare in the best way you can: Know everything about your market, your product, your SWOT, your competition,  and your potential investor.

That’s it. Just present a solid, flawless pitch in a persuading manner and the rest will follow. If not, it wasn’t the right investor. You don’t need to win this pitch, but you absolutely have to NOT LOSE it! Remember: Success is the absence of defeats, not a victory. Victories of all different kinds will be the natural result of not being defeated.

The photo was made during a run in beautiful Forstenrieder Park, south of Munich.

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