A pitch deck is an entrepreneur’s holy grail; the golden keys to funding and growth. With just a few meaty slides slathered with storytelling and wrapped in Q&A, a pitch deck turns innovation into business: it unlocks the potential of ideas to create value.
I’ve watched and read numerous pitches, studied a couple of books and a few articles about pitch design, and come to a conclusion (albeit inconclusively) that there is no such thing as a good pitch deck. There are only good ideas, with evidence to support them, and talent to make them tangible.
My early pitch decks were bad, but slides were not the reason; it was my thinking. My seminal concepts were inspired but crude and unfinished, scatterbrained, superficial, impractical, pompous, facile: a proverbial tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
I designed those pitch decks myself, so I blamed myself for the results, but if creative agents had designed them for me, I would only have others to blame. The decks would still have been bad (though better looking) because my ideas were half-baked; not ready for show time.
Over the past few months, my thinking at least has improved. What used to be emotional aspiration is now roll-up-your-sleeves technical innovation; what used to be idle speculation is now evidence-based hypothesis; what used to be ad hoc fixers is now invested talent capable of executing a plan.
All of these changes occurred within the past year, and they make me feel both confident and vulnerable; confident in the quality of the Humaginarium project, vulnerable to a discovery that even my best shot may not be good enough. Not because of me or my team, nor because of our skills and technology; but because we now fight for competitive advantage in an open field, with no cover and no possibility of retreat. Damn the pivots, full speed ahead!
This new, improved me is perhaps manifest in the DIY Pitch that I’m attaching to humaginarium.com. The pitch violates some of the cardinal rules of pitch design: it doesn’t fit on the head of a pin and can’t pass through the eye of a needle. The full pitch takes about 30 minutes to watch, and that’s why I made it do-it-yourself. The DIY Pitch is consumable in a minute; it can also be used by others who want to pay attention and spend some time. The individual decides what to order and the DIY Pitch delivers.
This is how it works. The DIY Pitch deck is all online, available 24/7 on any device. The home page is a Gallery of 30 pitch pages (i.e. slides). A stakeholder is prompted to choose how to view them:
- Click & Choose — open pages in any order; stop when you’ve seen enough
- Elevator — 1 minute that helps you decide if this project is your thing
- Finance — 10 minutes that help you decide if there’s adequate ROI
- The Full Monty — 30 minutes for all there is to see and hear
- Live Online — 45 minutes of custom presentation with Q&A
No matter which presentation an individual chooses, it can be stopped and changed at will. All presentations are self-paced, though only two are self-directed. Every page has text on the screen and a button that can be pressed for VO narration when wanted (read + listen). Two pages have a PDF download and other PDFs are available to qualified stakeholders.
My MO should be obvious: cut to the chase. I don’t know what excites different stakeholders: making a buck, changing the world, creative excellence, having fun etc. So I make it easy for every individual to get what they want. They’ll decide when, where, and how to be pitched; I’ll provide the information they ask for. That’s as close as I’m likely to get to a good pitch.