I hate pitch competitions

I hate pitch competitions

by | Oct 30, 2018 | Hustle and Fire

  1. They glorify being certain in an industry that is all about creating value out of thin air, where nothing is certain.
  2. They don’t differentiate stages, so startups that are very early are pitted against companies that have customers and a product.
  3. Often, judges don’t even have or use a rubric for scoring. They pick winners based on their “gut”, which we know is actually code for bias.
  4. They distract founders away from the work they should be doing – talking and selling to customers.
  5. It is possible to win a pitch competition without having built or learned anything of value, if you are a slick enough presenter.
  6. If you do well in a pitch competition because you presented well, it can give you the false idea that your business will be successful. In reality, this is only true validation if your customers are pitch competition judges. Otherwise, it’s just noise.

At the moment, I can’t think of a reason why a serious founder, hell-bent on changing the world, would waste time on a pitch competition.

Each day, I publish an idea I'm working on, highlights from a founder coaching session, or other tidbits from my work with founders, investors, corporate partners, and accelerators. Check out the Hustle+Fire blog for more.