This post was originally published on Medium.
I meet with lots of founders who are quick to give me their startup elevator pitch. Yesterday, I was at an event where most of the founders I met were pre-product. They were all ready to get right into the pitch right as soon as we shook hands (this wasn’t a pitch event). I found myself saying “Great, I’d love to check it out when it launches” and the conversations continued on for a bit but they all pretty much ended there.
If you’re pre-product, I’d suggest a completely different way to approach these conversations — focus the story on yourself because you are the product until the product is ready.
Talk about who you are and what you know. Display your passion. Develop the story to show why you’re the right founder to be solving the problem you’re focusing on. Use this approach to build relationships so that when your product is ready for demo, investors will remember you and have context.