Entrepreneurship Leaves No Room For Laziness A tale of two pitches.
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
A couple of months ago, I was emailed by the representatives of two different startups, both of whom were pitching their respective enterprises to get coverage in Entrepreneur Middle East. Now, we get a lot of such pitches, and as a team, we do try to go through all of them and make informed decisions on which of these should actually make it to our print pages or website. In this particular case, I was reviewing both pitches, and while they were interesting in their own right, I didn't find them impressive enough or mature enough as a startup to warrant a presence in the magazine then. Subsequently, I declined both of these pitches, explaining that the current states of their companies didn't make them a fit for us at that point in time, and I proceeded to (almost) forget about them.
But then, last week, these two startups reached out to me again, once again hoping to be featured in the publication. This is where it gets interesting: one of these startups sent me a pitch that was almost an exact replica of their email from months ago, while the other chose to give me new details relating to the current state of their enterprise (including stats and figures in terms of their user numbers, funding status, and more). I'll admit here that from a personal point of view, the latter enterprise, much like the first time it had contacted me, didn't really excite me this time either- but the very fact that this company had bolstered its pitch by responding to my doubts about it the last time around made me sit up and take a second look at it. The founders had noted the issues I had with them months ago, and followed up with an effective reply to them.
And as for the first startup: no prizes for guessing what happened to that pitch. That company got a "no" from me again, and the abject laziness it was showcasing by recycling an old email made the enterprise seem all the more lackluster. In the meantime, I'm reconsidering the second company, all because its representatives took the time to make a renewed case for their startup and how it had grown over the past few months.
So, what are the key takeaways here? Well, firstly, when we, as editors, say no to your startup's pitch, don't consider it as the be-all and end-all of your interaction with us. We're definitely open to being pitched again, and contrary to popular thought, we are open to reconsidering our stances on your enterprises. But when you do reach out to us for the second time, don't be lazy- give us fleshed-out information that would make us want to take notice of your company. Respond to our criticisms, showcase the wins that you have achieved, prove to us that your business is sustainable and growing. If you send us the same old boring pitch to us again, well then, in the words of Kimberly "Sweet Brown" Wilkins in her 2012 viral video:
"Ain't nobody got time for that!"