Why investors are like sheep (and how to herd them)?

30 10 / 2016

Why investors are like sheep (and how to herd them)?

Check out my side project Rejectionathon (discount code: EYFRIENDS), which helps founders get over their fear of rejection. The next one is on Nov 13, 2016 in Mountain View.

A fun little post for Halloween. In many ways, a lot of investors are like sheep. Not all. But many.

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Image courtesy of cliparts.co

Hopefully they are not like this:

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Image courtesy of cliparts.co

I don’t know what sheep like to eat, so let’s say they like ice cream. (I mean who doesn’t?) And let’s say you are selling ice cream cones. But other entrepreneurs are too. It can be easy for sheep to get paralyzed in deciding whom to buy ice cream from. There are just so many options.

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This can be frustrating if you’re trying to sell ice cream.

So you start by telling one sheep, “Hey, I have a limited amount of ice cream…wanna buy?” Then you say the same thing to lots of other sheep.

Then, a bunch of sheep are now closer to your ice cream truck, but they are still not buying your ice cream, because they are still deciding whether they want your ice cream or someone else’s. This is ok and perfectly normal. At this point, there is no need to put a ton of pressure on any of the sheep until you have enough sheep moving your general direction. This means you need to take a lot of initial meetings with a ton of sheep.

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Images courtesy of cliparts.co

So, soon you’ve got some semblance of a herd around your ice cream truck, but no one is buying yet. So, you start to put more pressure on all of them. “Hey, I’m starting to have final conversations with a bunch of sheep. If you are truly interested in my organic, gluten-free, tasteless ice cream, we really should talk in the next couple of days.”

At some point, you need to tell all the sheep, “I’m in final conversations with ~20 sheep about buying my ice cream but only have enough ice cream for ~10 sheep. Can you let me know if you’re in or out?”

This is a risky move, but at some point you may just need to do this to round up as many sheep as you can. In fact, your lasso (do people use that for sheep?) may end up missing everyone! And you may not end up with any sheep buying your ice cream. But if none of the sheep hovering around your ice cream truck is biting, you may just need to take that risk.

Sheepishly, this post may have made everything more confusing. But, what do I know? I’m not actually a sheep…

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Happy Halloween!

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