My favorite startup pitch

Over the course of a few months of listening to some really incredible pitches at YC in early 2014, one pitch stood out time-and-again. This happened every single time Henrik took stage. I now use this pitch to help teach the basics of good pitching to product makers who ask me for help in this department.

The interesting thing is that most of us who watch a pitch like this say “that’s amazing!” at the end of it. But it takes sustained failure of writing and performing pitches on stages to break it down and truly internalize what works in a pitch like this. In fact, it probably takes even more failed attempts to come up with one like this in the first place. The rules of the high-school’s debate team and the college-level speech giving and rhetoric classes aren’t naturally easily transferable to short and punchy product pitches.

Two pieces of writing that I have found incredibly right in this department are Jason Calacanis’s How to Give a Great Presentation (and a few more) and Mel Pirchesky’s Making the Pitch. While Jason pushes for getting the listeners to say “wow” with what they are seeing, Mel is more focused on keeping a tight tempo and making your pitch highly highly highly relatable and understandable. I think Henrik does a great job with each of these points.

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