- The Pitch Insider
- A CEO's Greatest Superpower
A CEO's Greatest Superpower
More Money = More Mistakes (That's a Good Thing!)
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What Happens When A Business Fails? This week we tell a story that many keep hidden.
Episode #108 follows the story of founders we first heard in 2017 on Episode #16 of The Pitch. That’s right, we’re going back to Qleek.
Vol. 1 Issue 9
Once upon a time there was a boy who met a girl and started a company with her. Then along came a big bad plague and destroyed everything they had created.
Or did it?
Co-founders Ismail and Johanna were always running a lean company with Qleek.
In a conversation off-mic, David from Dotcal told me and Josh, “Fundraising is the most important superpower a CEO can have.” Because with more runway, you can run more experiments.
Qleek couldn’t afford to run experiments. They were just pushing out product. Ismail said, "We just never marketed that product properly. Never. We didn’t have the resources."
I can relate to their story: a couple who is heads down trying to pump life into their startup.
On The Pitch we hear story after story of founders so focused on their product that they forget about marketing and distribution. Or they lack the funds to do so.
I get it. When you're trying to keep that baby alive it's easy to think every dollar has to go into creating the product. You can't afford to allocate money toward marketing.
Which leads us back to David's point. You have to be great at fundraising to have the capital to run experiments on the business. Whether that’s product, distribution or marketing experiments.
With more money you have room for mistakes.
Interestingly, Ismail and Johanna didn't have to pitch a bunch of VCs for their new venture.
They only made one pitch.
And got one check. For $750,000.
This time they had a marketing strategy from the start.
With a customer acquisition cost capped at $60, Ismail and Johanna could break even after just two months.
See the difference in their two companies? In the first, the founders were obsessed with product. In the second, they were obsessed with marketing and distribution from the onset.
This is why investors like second-time founders.
BTW: Would you like to hear a bonus episode from founders who are experts at fundraising? Raise your hand 🤚
The stories from this season have me thinking a lot about the marketing strategy for The Pitch.
Recently, an investor asked me and Josh, “What’s your marketing budget?”
It’s zero dollars.
Because we are just trying to get this train moving again. Every dollar is going into product.
We have a marketing strategy, but it’s all organic. So if I’m taking David’s advice, it’s time to go raise more money for The Pitch media company!
(Interested investors see Episode 101 😉)
And if you’re not an investor you can help a girl out and text a friend about The Pitch!
Every download counts.
(P.S. Make sure you have “Automatic Downloads” turned on for The Pitch in your podcast app.)
Wildgrain is giving listeners $10 off their first box + FREE croissants in every box with the code THEPITCH.
They are also looking to hire:
Interested candidates can email Wildgrain directly [email protected]
Around the Web
A lengthy but excellent read: What Taylor Swift Can Teach Us About Business
A draft for forwardable intros: Five Elements of a Good Blurb
Pitch Panelist Charles Hudson has a 2 min read: Why We Aren’t Seeing More Down Rounds
The Pitch Deals
The following are open deals from The Pitch Syndicate. Click the company name to learn more and apply:
Invest in all these deals + more through The Pitch Fund!
The Social Scene
Shortly after I heard about Qleek on the Pitch in 2017, I bought one for my wife on our anniversary. One of the reasons I love @thepitchshow is because you go back to the founders and cover the "rest of the story". Keep up the hustle @joshmuccio !
— Paul Hastings (@paulhastings0)
Mar 23, 2023
I already liked @ABCSharkTank... How did I just now found out about @thepitchshow?! Also, @dunkhippo33 & @MacConwell are on it?!?! 🤯
— Karen E. Sheffield 🇺🇲🇵🇪 (@kar_n_twitts)
Mar 17, 2023
Where are all my pre-seed and seed stage founders at? The Pitch Fund has fresh capital to deploy AND can help you get the word out to hundreds of thousands of listeners on our show
— Josh Muccio (@joshmuccio)
Mar 23, 2023
Apply to The Pitch to record this June in San Diego, CA.
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