I get deal pitches daily. I want all of you to understand the code words that IMHO are sure fire signs that the entrepreneur has no idea what they are doing and is destined to fail. This is from an email today, redacted of course to protect the guilty. My interpretation of the letter is in bold.
My name is John Doe, CEO and Founder of John Doe Unlimited Innovations and Technology, LLC. JDUIT is an innovation conglomerate, designed for many different industries and is dedicated to improve the quality of life for individuals throughout the world, one step at a time.
The first thing I do at this point is look at the senders email address. Is it an email with the company name in the URL? If it isn’t.. ding, ding, ding. The sender has come up with a name, but doesn’t have the focus or confidence to put up a website. This person was using a gmail account. Next my #FailDar was ringing louder than Larry Kudlow talking nonsense on CNBC about green shoots when I read the “designed for different industries and is dedicated to improve the quality of life of individuals throughout the world, one step at a time”. I’m sorry, but could anyone possibly invent and write anything that is more full of shit than this person? That has to go down in business letter history as one of the all time worse lines. If you want to get someone interested in your company, DO NOT tell them you are going to save the world. You are not. No one will believe you will. Save that nonsense for your grandma when you are trying to make her proud of you.
First, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to overlook a great opportunity we have for the near future. As you may know, with the steady progression of time, there are rapid advancements in technology and trends through innovation. We have devised a revolutionary and lucrative idea that will produce much success to all parties involved. We have created a plan with four separate projects that together ensure short- and long-term success. We have adopted a cutting-edge engineer consulting alliance to bridge our vision and planning with technical expertise. In addition, Famous Person is our President and Co-Founder.
Quite a few words to say absolutely nothing. But here is the more important point. Ready? If you have someone who is famous, which suggests they are wealthy, or who actually is known to be wealthy, involved in your company and you are pimping that person in order to increase my interest, I will tell you what goes through my head: If this is such a great fricking idea, why aren’t they funding the entire thing. If you were able to buy dollars for 50 cents, would you go out and get outside investors, or would you keep this sure thing to yourself and your famous friend? You would keep it. The fact that your famous friend doesn’t think enough of the idea to keep it all to you and him/her tells me I should be very, very careful.
We have designed a perfect plan that fits the standards of the 21st century; advanced and revolutionary ideas, solutions, and projects though innovation. We have acquired an excellent project support team, complete with scientists and engineers as well as an extensive list of connections. We are seeking to add our only missing piece, an investor(s), to become a partial owner. We are seeking investment for the first of our four project. Through thorough research, our scientists are confident in their ability to create and perfect a novel, consumer-friendly “Kick Ass System” based on proven Kick Ass physics. We ask that you consider this opportunity, as we are confident you will find it to be revolutionary and profitable.
Once again, did this person actually say anything? No. Reminds me of a line from a DMX song… “talk all day and say nothing”. At this point I am reading this email and actually smiling, thinking it must be a joke. That someone sent me this because it won a literary prize for the worst introduction letter of all time.
Attached is a copy of our executive summary. If you could be so kind as to take a moment of your time to overlook it, I am positive you will be as enthusiastic as I am for an opportunity like this. I look forward to speaking with you soon and the possibility of a working relationship. Once again, thank you for your time and consideration. Have a wonderful day. God bless.
The above is acceptable. At least they are polite.
I’m not going to show the entire executive summary. I don’t want to give away the company, but I will share some low-lights.
In our plan, we bridge together technical expertise and vision to jump-start the next generation of living. The JDUIT Plan will be the key part of a stable, invigorated economy by providing secure jobs and generating great wealth.
Anyone for jump-starting the next generation of living? Does the person who wrote it, seriously believe it?
II. The Mission
JDUIT intends to ignite the next generation of living, providing groundbreaking solutions to current economic issues, while continuing to encourage people to grow with everexpanding innovations. It is a lifestyle. We will not only make life easier, but dramatically improve the quality of living by helping people rethink their lifestyle choices. We do not merely seek to expand our business volume, but we are dedicated to the use of our unique, advanced technologies to contribute to the safety, benefits, and welfare of people worldwide. Our success is directly linked to the prosperity of our customers, management, employees, investors, partners, advisors, and shareholders; the
entire JDUIT family
Now if this isn’t a mission statement that makes you want to get out your checkbook, I don’t know what is.
That’s about as much as I can post without giving the company identity away. I’m not saying this company can not be successful. I don’t think they can, but I have been wrong before. But one thing I know for certain, their pitch to me is one of the worst , if not the very worst I have ever received and I can not take it or the company seriously.
If you are an entrepreneur who is looking for capital and is sending letters or emails of introduction, leave out the Bullshit. Say who you are. What you have. What makes it different than the competition. What you want to accomplish. How you plan on getting there and how I can help. Everything else will usually hurt more than it will help.