This is an email I posted on the newsletter for The CEO Library, as part of a Startup Founder Reading plan. Here’s the entire 16 books list
One thing that was constant in my life as an early stage entrepreneur was pitching. If you put together private and public pitching, I think I pitched more than 100-150 times in the first 12 months of MavenHut’s life (MavenHut being the startup I co-founded in 2012 and I raised money for). Pitching is, therefore, one of the best tools in the toolbelt of the startup founder and, more importantly, the early stage startup CEO.
A book I read around the time I started pitching was “Pitch Anything”. While the book is weird sometimes, getting into the manipulation grey area, it contains some really good gems when it comes to improving yourself.
The thing I remember the book for, mostly, was how to grab attention and keep it for the duration of your pitch. While I still have issues in doing either of them, I became a lot better :) If you want to see a really nervous startup CEO pitching his company at a business accelerator Demo Day, watch my Startup Bootcamp Demo Day presentation here and judge for yourself if I was any good.
I feel I should try more to convince you that you should read “Pitch Anything” but, seriously, if you want to raise money and you don’t believe you need to improve your pitching skills, nothing I will say will change it.
P.S.: As usual, if you read the book, here’s another option: Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good is a good history book on the evolution of web businesses during the early 2000s (up until around 2007-2008). You can read about the startup scene in Silicon Valley and not only, you can read about projects up to Facebook, you can read about PayPal Mafia and their investments. It is a more optimistic book than what we see now in those companies that survived.