Delivering value at the margin

Projector or Projectile?

Yesterday we had management of a most intriguing company in our offices to discuss a possible investment.  We had been impressed with the team in previous meetings, particularly the one who gave us a ride in his Porsche.  But no sooner had we exchanged pleasantries and finished patting them down, did the Carrera dude ask about a projector for their presentation.  You could have heard the air leaving the room like the whoosh of a punctured low-profile 19’’ radial on BBS wheels.

We haven’t used a projector in two years.  One too many fancy dissolves and it was out the window.  (The squirrel never saw it coming.)  PowerPoint is a prop for bad story telling.  In its place we have assembled better props for better story telling.  We raided our kids’ dress-up clothes, Goodwill and my wife’s collection of hair extensions to enable management to really show they can dance.  Literally.  To the soothing sound of our Javan gamelan orchestra, we have management teams act out the next two years of their business plan.  Every once in the while the band would shake it up: good management is the ability to adapt when the music changes.  A little Green Day and a couple of Alanis Morissette ditties to lighten up the mood and it was clear that this team was not MVP material.  No dancing with our stars, thank you very much.

So fair warning: the art of a good pitch is the art of good storytelling on the fly.  What is your ability to perform improv’ theater?  Can you dance the paso doble?  What are you driving?

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