These are the biggest startup red flags I look for when getting pitched. If I see any of these, I am out:
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🚩 Using monotonically increasing numbers (cumulative metrics instead of trends). Sneaky founders will show 'total user' graphs or 'total revenue' instead of demonstrating organic fluctuations.
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Cumulative metrics don't accurately reflect growth trends because they can only increase, which masks unimpressive numbers. Example: Total number of people who have installed an app (never decreases) vs. Total active users (can decrease).
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This is obviously a very misleading way to present metrics, and it is one of the things that stands out to me the most. Impressive numbers are obviously important, but not at the cost of trust.
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🚩 Inability to build product. Not every founder has to be technical, but you do need a team who can at least build a prototype of your product in-house.
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Too often, business/finance bros pitch me an idea for a tech startup, but have no idea how to go about building product! Hiring a 'third-party development shop’ to build your app is NOT a suitable replacement for getting your hands dirty and building an mvp.
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🚩 Over hyping and excessive name-dropping When founders get too hung up on fancy names, it feels like a sleight of hand. It only serves as a distraction from what their startup is actually doing.
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Get rid of the fluff: I just want to hear about the metrics, the vision, your team, what you are building. Most importantly, I want to hear why YOU are excited about it!

Dec 2, 2021 · 11:45 PM UTC

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Now you're ready to pitch to any investor - make sure you don't commit these major no-no's. Have you been guilty of any of these? Let me know!
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Replying to @justinkan
What i am learning here is that metric can cloud founder's passion in pitching sessions. So, may be emphasizing more on that
Replying to @justinkan
Well said, and great advice!
Replying to @justinkan
The "Why" & "How" is important at the very first stage of ideation.