Here are 30 “legendary” startup pitch decks that eventually paved the way for massive businesses, like:
- Gusto (was ZenPayroll)
- And more…
Although most folks might believe that there’s a lot to glean from these decks, I actually believe that it’s best to limit what one draws from them explicitly and appreciate them for what they are: Snapshots of a business, in-flight, that wasn’t sure if it was going to make it.
These businesses, at the time, believed in grand visions of the future and did their very best to communicate that future to folks who would view them through the lens of gross skepticism and doubt.
But, they only need one person to be convinced, to find that inspired person who demonstrated real and authentic conviction and who became, in effect, a true believer.
You see, this is the most important thing to remember when you go start raising money for your startup and/or venture: You only need one (and the rest will easily follow).
It’s also worth remembering that there isn’t a
default or “the” way to create a pitch deck, even though folks have created templates for startups to use – so many of the decks in this lineup look and feel different and the design quality is all over the map!
This highlights an important fact: Raising venture capital has nothing to do with your deck and everything to do with your team, the product, and the market. Some organizations and individuals will prioritize those three things differently, but you’ll need all three for it to really work out in the end.
Personally, I think team is more important than pretty much everything else (and if you add a great community…!):
And, of course, there has to be a business:
In the end, the “quality” of your deck won’t matter unless you’ve got some of the more fundamentals in play. This is the context that’s pleasantly missing from the shared listicle – don’t worry about a pitch deck until you work on what really matters first (and get something to start working and building momentum)!
And then, when you find the first person to commit, then, you’re on your way.