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Yesterday I met with a savvy founder working on her first startup. She was looking for feedback and, of course wanted to mention that they happened to be closing out their angel round – there *might* be a little room left for me.
In all meetings, I like to get to the product as quickly as possible, so I asked:
“Can you show me your product?” I’m a sucker for good product.
The founder proceeded to show me a site that looked exactly like Pinterest, but that was focused on a single vertical (which I will leave out).
“Pinterest clone!” was my immediate thought.
As the product was only 70% as refined as Pinterest, I quickly moved on:
… and “Poor executer!”
At that point the meeting was basically over in my mind. Why?
a) the projects and people I tend to invest in are ‘starting from zero’ and building up, and b) I only invest in folks who can build products that are as good or better than what’s in the market.
The LAUNCH Fund’s investments all have wickedly designed products: AdStage.io, Boxbee.com and WizzyWig.io (and hey, two of three have .io domains – hmmmm).
These are my biases, and they’re largely based on my own reflection of when I’ve done great work and when I’ve done ‘menza menza’ work.
Interestingly, in the last five minutes I asked the founder why she wanted to build this product and she got a huge save. She explained her personal frustration trying to solve a problem in her life: the granular details of the problem and the potential solutions she tried after talking to her friends.