This is the line that I will preface my pitches from here on.

People over product

I was at the gym today, catching my breath in between sets, and I can't help but remembered the times back when I was still a Naval Diver trainee. In a span of 6 months, I turned from a McSpicy devouring boy into an elite soldier. And I achieved that because, at every step of the way, it was mind over body. And this is what I should have started every pitch with - that as a special force soldier, Steven never gives up.

As a teenager who grew up learning to code and hanging out (on the IRC) with fellow dorks, I grew to be extremely allergic to bullshit. It did not help that my idols such as Linus Torvalds, or Bill Gates, exemplified the same traits. And these were successful people!

I was convinced that:

  • If I built a great product that people loved
  • That had many users

Investors will put in money. Wrong, wrong, wrong. But that was exactly how I pitched. Almost always, I will gloss over the personal introduction or the slide with the team. Because in my head, if you are buying a chunk of my business, don't you want to learn all about the business?

And that I did. I took Javelin Browser, a product I grew to a million users to Tim Draper, and I did a pitch focused on the product and the fast growth. Hah. He offered to put in some money, just not at the terms I was looking for.

But honestly, I think I can do so much better. Products rarely work out, but a transcendent leader with a great team will consistently deliver results over time.

So, this is how I will begin pitch next time:

I am Steven Goh, and I used to be in the special forces, and this is my elite squad that has been with me for years building tiny successes one after another. We are ready for something bigger.