Each Monday we will be plucking out and highlighting the most interesting and hotly discussed stories within the world of Startup and Small Business; getting to the bottom of the buzz and the sentiment surrounding them.
This will be followed later in the week by an in-depth examination of the most interesting story by members of our panel of industry experts. You’ll be able to join the conversation throughout the week via polls, comments and our Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook channels.
The sad state of the startup pitch (-3.5 sentiment)
The deplorable state of the startup pitch is critically reviewed by US-based VC blogger Bryce Roberts who describes his recent experiences with start-ups: “You’d think that given the sheer volume of material written about how to pitch your company to investors that we’d be in the midst of some sort of golden age for the startup pitch,” says Roberts.
Apparently this is not the case as he goes on to criticise the vast majority of pitching start-ups for failing to deliver on any level. He says they fall short from presentations and product demos all the way to barely putting in the time and effort into a pitch to an investor you’d like to help fund your business. “If you half ass it with an investor, you’re likely half assing it elsewhere in your business,” suggests Roberts.
Sentiment and discussion around this article’s messaging was positive, however it was the sentiment around the current state of startup pitches and the criticisms and agreements which this article fuelled that indicated that sentiment around startup pitches is currently negative. This highlights a real opportunity for start-ups who are prepared to put in the work on a quality pitch to potential investors.
The Importance of Perseverance (+1 sentiment)
A recent article by Buffer founder Joel Gascoigne titled “Why you should continue working on your bad idea” has fuelled a positive discussion around the importance of perseverance for those passionate enough to be turning their ideas into a startup business or building and nurturing a startup into a growing business.
The sentiment is that, while it’s not easy to do; keeping going and not doubting yourself, your ideas and your business can pay off long-term.
Of all the insights, it appears the biggest lesson that comes out of this idea of perseverance is it can be the direct cause of a potentially failing startup evolving into a real success. It was suggested that good ideas come through the process of iteration, which lead to a far stronger more refined business. Examples of businesses such as Instagram and Groupon were given to illustrate the fact that through evolving ideas both of these businesses hit their mark eventually by being refined and re-focussed.
New small business bank announced (-3.0 sentiment)
SMB leaders are up in arms following a recent proposal from the Government to create a small business bank. It was felt that despite the current loan drought which has prevented the UK's struggling small business sector from investing in new equipment and employing new staff has becoming more acute, there is little good likely to come out of this scheme.
The creation of a British Business Bank is hoped to help address some of the problems in business lending, as more and more businesses turn their backs on bank financing. However, during an interview with Andrew Marr recently George Osborne revealed the plans for a new small business bank, saying it will "bring together all the alphabet soup of existing schemes". This statement has led many to believe that it will offer no new funding and be unlikely to bring anything new to the table to help small businesses.
There is a feeling that the small business world has had enough schemes from The National Loan Guarantee Scheme to Project Merlin right up to the Business Growth Fund which has led to further negative sentiment.
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