Buckets or Fastballs.
Random thoughts on fundraising.
I’ve been thinking about the process of fundraising, and I feel that all successful fundraises fall into two categories: Buckets or Fastballs.
Investors are constantly looking for buckets to place deals into: Is this a climate deal? Is this a Pre-Seed Deal? Is their co-founder from the Artic? Have I known this person for 1,000 years? yada yada yada
If you are in a bucket, all you have to to do is be one of the best in whatever bucket the investor believes you are in and they will probably invest. The investor also has to be looking for that bucket.
The other category is a 98 mph fastball.
There’s an amazing scene in the movie “The Rookie” with Dennis Quaid. Dennis Quaid plays a retired baseball pitcher named Jimmy Morris, who coaches a high school baseball team, and the team challenges him to try out for the big leagues again.
At the tryouts the old scout comes up to Jimmy and says:
“Jimmy, I've been a scout for a long time, and the number one rule is, arms slow down when they get old. Now, if I call the office and tell 'em I got a guy here almost twice these kids' age, I'm gonna get laughed at. But, if I don't call in a 98-mile-an-hour fastball, I'm gonna get fired!”
The other type of fundraise that happens is that it fits into no bucket. It looks nothing like the other types of deals… but where it matters, they are pitching a 98mph fastball. Because if you are pitching 98mph, no one cares what bucket you are in… fast is fast. Great is great, and sometimes trying to fit into someone’s bucket is wrong for your business.