What We’ve Learned Over the Years- In the Startup World Everyone Talks a Big Game


In the startup world, everyone talks a big game and investors are  looking for those who can do it.

I love startup stories. In the startup world everyone has a grand idea and big plans to make it happen. It’s the venture world so you better have an idea that can be big. The talk around the ideas is large and full of hyperbole. The future is going to be so bright that you find yourself reaching for your shades.

But then the startup has to actually build it and show the growth story in progress.

Scott Adams once wrote- “Losers have goals. Winners have systems.”

If the startup has some revenue traction then you probably have some systems behind it that you can grow. But what if they don’t have any meaningful revenue yet?


One technique is to ask questions that go to the systems they will put in place such as:

  • Tell me about your system for generating leads. Exactly how will it work?
  • Tell me about your sales process.  
  • Exactly how do you find the right prospect and close them?

In other words, the startup needs to do more than just tell you their goals in your powerpoint slide deck. They need to describe the systems they can put into place to do so.

If the answers are vague and fuzzy, then it’s going to be a long, slow climb. If the answers show expertise and experience around it, then this one has potential for investment.

Hall T. MartinHall T. Martin is the founder of TEN Capital and a builder of entrepreneur ecosystems by startup funding through angel networks, funding portals, syndicates, and more. Connect with him about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies