PEPSI – Startups
A: Why are you all dressed up? You look very handsome.
B: I’m going to meet a very important angel. A friend of mine helped me set up the meeting.
A: I’m sure you’ll get funding. Your technology is way ahead of the curve. The sky is the limit.
B: Thanks for saying that. I’ve invested all my life savings into this venture. All my eggs are in this basket.
A: Let me get this straight. You want me to invest $30 million dollars for 10% of your company? Are you nuts? You have no sales, no product, and no customers.
B: I know we have a tough road ahead of us. Just believe me.
A: This is the worst pitch I’ve ever heard. It’s a pipe dream! Your valuation of the company just doesn’t sit right with me. You absolutely bombed it. The ship has sailed.
B: If you could reconsider.
A: Listen, read the room. No one is interested. We have a lot on our plate and we have bigger fish to fry. We’re out.
A: Did you get the funding? This was our last chance.
B: Unfortunately, we came up short.
A: What happened?
B: They wanted too much equity. For crying out loud, they asked for 50% of our company. They wanted to call all the shots. We turned them down. All our hard work went down the drain. Maybe, we should throw in the towel. There’s no future.
A: Do you remember those kids who pitched their idea about an apartment rental platform?
B: It doesn’t ring a bell.
A: I think they called it ‘Airbnb’.
B: Oh yes, I remember now. That was a few years ago. So what?
A: We missed a golden opportunity. They struck out on their own and now they’re worth billions of dollars.
B: You win some and you lose some. I guess, that’s life. I didn’t want to invest in them because I thought they would just burn through cash.
PEPSI Discussion Questions
- What do you like to wear when you dress up? What kind of accessories do you add?
- How can companies stay ahead of the curve?
- When is it a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, when is it not? Should companies seek diversification?
- Tell me about a time you did something nuts.
- Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the road ahead? What are your plans for the future?
- Have you ever bombed an important presentation?
- Tell me about a time when the ship sailed.
- Are you good at reading the room? Do you think it’s an important skill? How can we improve this skill?
- Do you have a lot on your plate right now? Tell me about a time you did.
- Do you like calling the shots? When?
- At what age should people strike out on their own? What kind of lessons can you learn when striking out on your own?
- Why do investors miss many golden opportunities when investing in startups?
- Why do startups burn through cash?