Ryan Rutan: welcome back to the episode of the startup therapy podcast, this is Ryan Rutan joined as ever by Wil Schroder, my friend partner and the ceo of startups dot com, Well today we're going to dig into something that literally every founder has to go through at some point. I mean there's just no way around at some point having to pitch your vision to somebody usually starts with a conversation in the mirror, right? Like, yeah, this is a good idea, right, Ryan, you know, I think, I think I should do this like I should definitely spend the next 10 years of my life doing this and that's not an easy conversation, but I would say the exponential curve that we climb as we start to talk to other people about our vision gets pretty complicated, I'm not going to call you old here, but you know, you've, you've been pitching it is what it is. You know, I was right there with you. So let's go way back in time to the beginning of time as we see it, which would be, you know, the dawn of the internet and we didn't even really get to pitch the vision of our startups, We were literally explaining to people what the hell the internet was take us back in time with way back in time. Will was there a time before the internet? Yeah, I mean, I remember In the early early stages of my business, I was starting one of the first web design companies and this is circa 94, so this is right at the dawn of the Web browser. I mean kind of really the seminal kind of moment of and I remember being so excited. First off, I didn't know what I was even supposed to sell at all. I was 19, I had never sold anything whatsoever. And the second thing was even when I was preparing to pitch, I assumed I was going to go in in kind of the internet was a given right. Like the internet is an amazing thing. I've, I've had a decade to think through it because I've been on it long before it was a thing and I assume I'm going to go into a room, I'm going to pitch this thing and ceos minds are just gonna be blown and they're just like, oh my God, you know, how do we give you all the money? And it didn't exactly go like that went something like this. First off, Who the hell are you? Part of my vision? My packaging, I didn't realize I was a 19 year old kid with, yeah, I didn't really expect that part. So I bust out my 46 laptop and I'm like, look, here's the future, The future is the internet and their first question every time, what the hell is the internet? And I'm like, well, you know, this is what I'm here to talk to you about soon. Every business is going to have what's called a website. And I mean, it sounds so silly saying it now, but like that was the thing and I assumed I was going to spend maybe five seconds saying internet, website and the rest of the pitch talking about how we're going to build something incredible for them, lo and behold an hour into the pitch, they're like, wait, you can click this button and it goes somewhere else and someone else's computer, I'm like, oh my God, here we go. Yeah, I'm like, it's called once again, it's called the internet and I use it with my computer. God, this is gonna be a long run. I remember being told things like, you know, yeah, the internet. And people literally saying that like, I think I have that on a disk here in my desk drawer when people still had drawers on their desk Internet Yeah, right. Like I've got it here on a 3.5 inch floppy. I remember distinctly walking out of one of the earlier large pitches. So this was like the first time I would have crossed into like a five figure pitch, which sounds silly and small now, but like it was a five figure pitch and I came out of it, got back to the office and the team asked me how it went and I said, I felt like I was trying to sell a boat to somebody who had never seen water, like it was just like they had no idea. They had no concept again, like how do you explain somebody the value of what this thing is going to be when they don't understand the underlying infrastructure. Yes, so I can't say that we exactly got to vision on that one, it was more just like an educational session, but it was fun times. This is the crux of it though, like we're also excited to sell our vision, we all kind of walk in a room like I did, expecting people to be blown away right with what we're about to talk to them about, or, or even like, man, even when we're calling up our friend and you just had the idea and we're like, oh my God, like can you believe this? And they're like, what the hell are you talking about? And like when we get so frustrated right, and that's essentially the core of it were so frustrated that other people don't understand this amazing thing, this big vision, the way they're supposed to write, you know, I have it in my head, why aren't you excited about it? And I thought at the time, I thought that the reason no one was super excited about my vision was because I didn't have like these presentation skills, like I pictured this like steve jobs character where you'd be able to go in and just like sell people on the dream and they would respond with like, oh my God, like the sales pitch is so good, it didn't even matter what you said and I'd come to learn later that there was like kind of a formula to this and I was using everything but the formula. So I mean today, let's, let's talk about the formula. Let's talk about like you had the black turtleneck, right? These deep jobs. But like if people are frustrated, I'm sure many folks are that people aren't seeing the vision the way they see it. They're pitching investors, they're pitching customers, they're pitching employees, they're pitching their friends, their spouses, whatever and no one really gets it right and they can't understand why and they watch these companies that have these silly ideas seem to get tens of millions of dollars in VC. And what the hell did they say in that room? That, that I didn't say right, You know what was the magic like pass phrase they used? But the guy on shark tank stuttered the whole time and he's still got his money right? And why is it that people are so excited about that vision and not mine. So I think All of that in the formula behind it because like I said, there is one are worth digging into today. Yeah, there's two points I want to make before we move on. One that I think is just, and I've made it before, I have certainly said this, this is our 99th episode. And yeah, I know right? And so I've probably said this 25 times, but it's, it's a phrase my dad handed to me a long time ago, communication is the burden of the sender, right, meaning that it's incumbent on us to be able to explain it in a way that matters to other people. And we're going to dig into that specifically here in a few minutes, but the other one, just going back to a bit of why people don't understand, I'm going to use an analogy here, you wake up and like you turned to your spouse or maybe later in the day you try to explain to somebody the dream you had, right? The actual dreamlike while sleeping and nobody ever gets it. Like it's super visceral to you. There's all these experiences that you had. It was all compressed. It was crazy, right? Then I flew out the window and then bob was there and then bob turned into, right? And everybody just like at some point like everybody's willing to tolerate about 30 seconds of a dream story. And after that it's like, this makes zero fucking sense. Like what you're telling me, I have no connection to. There's no context, right? There's no context and they can't see what you're seeing. And I think this is one of the things that we forget to impart on people is that there's an important sequence, the details in which we release and they have to have a certain amount of context and based knowledge going back to, you know, me trying to sell the boat to the person who never seen water that wasn't gonna work. It didn't matter how eloquent, how beautiful, how wonderful the boat was. You know, how, what features it had if they were like, and then it's gonna sit in my yard. I don't get it right, Well, wouldn't have fucking mattered. Right? So I think it's important that we take that into consideration that there is sort of staged approach to how we present this vision and the reason founders stumble so much on this is because they sell the wrong stuff, right? The idea is like, I'm on shark tank, I'm going to go up there and I'm gonna say, you know, here's something that's never existed before and here's why it's so awesome. Here's all the features and you know, give me money and in their minds that's how it works. But it turns out that to your point about the boat, they're missing the most important part of the pitch, which is what problem do you solve? In fact, whenever you and I talked to founders and they start digging into their pitch and I love the fact that they're excited about it. The first thing we say, okay, so down so down, so down before you get into this, just one question, what problem are you solving and here's what's crazy, they stopped. They're like, wait, what do you mean? It's like going to the core of why you're in business because you're trying to solve a problem. And to be fair. Typically no one's ever asked them. They haven't put a lot of thought into it, but I'll give you an example, startups dot com. We do all kinds of cool stuff, but at its core we solve one simple problem. No one knows how to start a startup. Why? Because they've never done it before, right? Everyone is doing this for the first time. It's insanely complex. It really actually doesn't make any sense. Most of the things that would sound logical, just don't apply right. You know, we talked about this in another episode about how if you're doing a job interview, right? We were saying how like you could be in the job interview, I was like, wait, so I don't get paid correct. There's no certainty whatsoever that I'll ever get paid. Also true. I'm going to have to pay money to work here. Yes. Also like it just goes on, right? You're like, well, there's something to be said. You know, by the way, I just want to mention if what we're talking about today sounds like the kind of discussion you wish you were having more often you actually can, you know, we're online all day everyday working through exactly these types of topics with founders, just like you, So any question you would have or maybe some problem, you just want to work through, we're here and we love this stuff and we're easy to find, you know, head over to groups dot startups dot com and let's just start talking the list of things I need to do are completely amorphous and will probably change day to day. Um no, it doesn't sound good. Yeah. And like I have to go build a product that's never built, sell to a market that's never been sold with a team that's never been together with skills that I've never had. Good thing. I brought my own pen, I'm ready to sign. Yeah, I mean again, none of it makes sense. So at its core and when we start talking about this and we were kind of laughing about it because when you explain it like that, the problem is really obvious. Even the people that don't understand what the hell we do like it's even more so it really doesn't make sense. And so long before we explain like kind of what our features benefits and you know, all that cool stuff is we get into why this problem exists, you know, and what that problem is and why it's painful and and we try to create some context around it. But most importantly, we start with the problem has to begin with the problem, it doesn't have to, but there's an entire graveyard filled with startups who went built solutions and then started running around looking for the problem that there was magically fit or they built a solution for a problem of one, which I think is something else that you have to be very, very careful of. Right? And like, well I suffered from this. Okay, cool. Did you look around to see if anybody else suffered from this or is this a very much you or your business or previous role type problem? Yeah. It's super important to not only consider the problem, but to make sure that it exists for more people than you will. Let me go back to my internet example. So there I am 19 years old and I'm pitching, you know, said Ceo and he's responding okay, like I kind of have to understand what you're talking about. You talk really fast and you don't make a lot of sense. But on top of that, I'm trying to map what you're telling me as to why it's even a problem for me because by the way, as of right this minute, no one has the internet right in the way we do now, no one has a website, no one's selling. No one will sell anything on a website for another 1 to 2 years meaningfully. And so if you walk out of here and I do nothing with the information you just gave me. I don't see how it affects me whatsoever. And frankly, that's the response that I got like, who cares? I was scratching my head going kind of the right the right question and it didn't even occur to me. Yeah, it was the right question, right? It didn't even occur to me to ask or to talk through it. Rather going back to the same period in time where I finally encountered somebody and you'll appreciate this because you probably have a similar story. I encountered somebody who was like, they came to me and they're like Ryan, we need a website and it was like, oh finally somebody that understands the internet and the power like awesome what we needed to do, like we don't know, it's just that like most of the work that we do is bidding on state contracts and the state of Ohio has now said that in order to bid on state contracts, you have to have a website in order to be able to bid. It was part of like the digitizing Ohio. And they had some name for it at the time but they were basically trying to take Ohio and it was called cyber Ohio. Probably it's something equally lame. And so I was so pumped to walk into this meeting because they asked me and they said we need a website and so I was sure that they had figured out what problem they wanted to solve that they knew what the value of this thing was gonna be and it was literally so they could check a box on a form, a paper form by the way, which I thought was totally ironic, A paper form that you had to then submit to the state of Ohio saying yes, we have a website, here's the address that you then had to write it by hand, but not what I was hoping for. I mean, but more importantly though, somebody understood the problem and the problem was kind of lame. The problem was, hey, I need to be able to bid on something so I need a website. But they understood that there was a problem. The problem can't bid without it. We were selling into a problem list economy, people knew something called the internet was coming. They knew they didn't have it, but they didn't understand why it mattered now. Fast forward a year, a year and a half Netscape the first commercial browser goes public one of the biggest I. P. O. S at the time and it's everywhere. I mean remark and reason on the cover of Time magazine, he's sitting on a throne, right? It's a big thing. Um, and at that moment every news outlet jumped on this thing, right? And it was everywhere, right? Like you couldn't turn anywhere and not see internet. Still nobody understood what the hell it was. It didn't matter. Everyone knew there was a problem, which is this company has internet. I don't have internet. There's there lies the problem at that point. Ryan, you know, our businesses skyrocket, right? Because even if our solutions sucked, it didn't matter because the problem was so evident and I think what we fail to do, founders is we fail to kind of set this thing up, right? It's almost like trying to watch a movie where the hero is like defeating the bad guy, but you've got no exposition that told you why that was even a problem. He's just beating up on this poor guy. Like what, what did this guy even do? You know, the movie has to set up the problem to make that big scene so pent ultimate in our minds and commitment have it have value. And I think founders do a great job of talking about the benefits. But when you pinpoint the problem, here's what tends to happen, they tend to kind of just gloss over it. Like, oh yeah, you know, a lot of people want to be on the internet and it's like, no, you don't want to gloss over the problems so you can quickly get to your solution. In fact, if you were to like kind of allocate the amount of time and attention in the wind you need on either side, I'd argue you need about 80% of the value in the pitch To be on the problem in 20 on the solution because frankly, like if you set up a great problem, the solution kind of solves itself. I mean that's what's awesome about it. Like you've got this cool opportunity where the problem is so obvious, great example. Currently Covid is affecting seven billion people solution, I've got a cure to Covid, I don't even care how your solution works by the way in this case I do. But the problem is so evident, it's so painful, it's so big that whatever you're about to tell me the solution is I'm on board because I get the problem right? And it's clear and it's and it's easily understood when you think about how much time and effort you need to put into the problem statement, it is mapped back to how well do people already understand this right? Like restaurants don't have to go too far into what Hungary means, right? Because it's a well understood in universal concept. But when you start to get towards the edge of something that's a bit innovative, you know, even if it's not a full quantum leap, we're not talking about flying to the moon but we're not talking about Uber for example where I'm not going to use an app to hail a taxi, it's not really a taxi that's not really a train driver and it's a total stranger, but I'm still going to somehow do this right. Like you still have to put some effort into explaining why this is a better solution to that problem. But the problem is well understood, I need to go from here to there and this is where you cross over into now. Okay, problem is well explained. Its articulated easy to understand but there's a lot of problems that aren't right going back to the internet example when people don't understand the base infrastructure that you're going to build off of, you have to spend enough time on that such that they understand the problem using your Covid example. Covid very well understood, right? It's quantified, right? It's it's a massive problem. We can quantify in terms of the number of people it's affected. We can quantify in terms of the number of dollars lost individually at the nationality or company level is the amount of money that we have to spend on fixing this. We can quantify in terms of time and experiences lost. Right? You know, kids being out of school, there's all sorts of qualitative stuff we understand about it. It's an easy problem to feel, right. Not necessarily want to wrap your head around because there's so many impacts and then you talk about severity, right? We did this a few weeks ago where we talked about when we break down a problem, severity and duration are the two things that we look at like but how serious is this actually? How long is it gonna last? Well, in the case of covid great example, for that severity, extremely high duration at some point, Who knows? Who knows? Right. And so that makes it a very pointed problem, right? At some point we'll know, but right now we just have no idea this is one of those things that if we're blabbering it. It's because it needs to not only be belabored but really picked apart and dissected because once you understand how to frame a problem, the rest becomes super easy and all of a sudden your vision, everybody's on board. So let's kind of take it a step further and let's talk about why the person you're pitching has a version of the problem that may not be your version of the problem and more globally. There may be 12, 1500 different versions of how the problem is understood received etc by all these different audiences. I'll give an example long time ago Elliott and I essentially launched a company that isn't, but it was essentially what a firm is now. It allowed you to buy stuff using payments long before a firm, which is to say we sucked it up. And so this was one of the most amazing things when, when we were putting it together. I remember when I first pitched Elliott on the idea, I was like, dude, can you imagine if you could buy everything using weekly payments and he was like, like lay away. I was like, well, not exactly like layaway but the concepts the same whereby you can, you can break big payments down into little payments and I said, and this is gonna be huge. You know, it's gonna be the next generation of e commerce and finance etcetera and he jumped on board and we launched this thing. So he got it, you know, he got his own version of it and he understood the finance part well enough. Here's where we are totally, totally thrown this point. We're so excited. This thing is going to be a massive idea and we go to pitch for capital because this thing was going to need a massive, massive amount of capital. There's no way red and we go into VCS were on Sand Hill road and we're sitting in with this presentation that we're so proud of and by this point, you know, we've both been to this show a few times before we had a pretty good sense for like what we're supposed to do here and we go in and First 2nd, 3rd slide is like a problem etc. And we go through the problem like a third of the people in the us etc are below an income line. We're making a $400 purchase, has a lot of friction and we move on And we get to like the fourth slide and the VCS eyes are glazed over like what the hell did we miss this pitch is amazing. And finally we come to learn that no one understood the problem. And so finally OVC asked us and he's like, well I don't get it, why would someone need to make payments on a $400 item. Why don't they just put it on their black card, it's called connection to reality, Oh my God. And and we were so far off the mark. It's not that they didn't understand the problem. It's that they didn't relate to the problem, right? Like these were all rich stanford kids and like most of them have never had a part time job. So let's say you're going to buy a G6 and you don't want to, you don't want to put all your cash in that because you've got a better cash on cash return somewhere else. Right? I mean, but that's on us, right? That's on us for not understanding their version of the vision, right? And so we started to modify the proposal. This is almost comical. And we'd open up with, there are poor people in the world, there are people that don't make money and we had to quantify this. We had to like spend time explaining that there are people that don't make as much money as you do. And you know what's funny? I bet if some of the BCS are listening to some of the people that we may have pitched because sadly we pitched a lot because a lot of people said no, I bet if they're listening now one, they're going to like, you know, they actually weren't right in number two. There was no, I totally got it bullshit. Was there early and I walked out of every meeting going, I can't believe this, but lesson learned, right? Like we didn't understand that we're going to have to vastly modify this pitch to consumers versus investors versus employees. I mean, there was going to be tons of versions of this pitch, you know what I mean? Yeah, again, communication is the burden of the center and what that really means is that you have to understand who you're talking to, right? Like there's good information is good information, but only to the extent that it can be received absorbed and then the audience you're delivering to, you can do something with it, right? Um, you know, if I just walk into my, my, my daughter's room across the hall here, um, and start delivering a lecture on calculus, it's good information. And, and it will be useful for her at some point, mostly for graduating university, not for anything else. And you know, it's gonna be absolutely impossible for her to absorb at this point because she doesn't have the base skills to understand, right? So the context isn't there? And so I wouldn't do that, right? And it's obvious in that situation, but we have to remind ourselves that nobody else has spent nearly the amount of time that we have thinking about this dreaming about this, plotting it out, Thinking about nine different ways who it applies to. And we get stuck in our own version in our own head. And we start to project that onto the people we're talking to, right? And it's really, really important to consider, what is their background, what is their knowledge level? Also? What do we need to get out of this? Because you're not always pitching investors right? It's not always about making them understand to the point where they want to hand you a check. This also starts to occur when you start to market your product or look for co founders or pitch employees, right? There's so many different audiences and each one of those audiences is going to have at least some degree of nuance, if not magnitudes of difference in terms of how you present this to that. I love your example about your daughter because this is one of one of my favorite cell division examples that breaks and parents flood this in an epic way. It looks something like this. Our daughters are nine or 10 and we say you need to get good grades. And let's just imagine they were just pushing back in the most honest way. You know, both our daughters are awesome. So, so they would do this. They're smart, but they're also very kind and they would say why? Well, so you can get into a good college. Why? Well, so you can get a good job. Why? Well, so you can make money to pay your mortgage. What the hell is a mortgage? And we're like, oh ship we just assumed somehow that they would miraculously understand this chain of life events that they could not be more disconnected too. And so all of their, why questions aren't even a push back. It's a question of why would that make any sense, right? Like I barely earn an allowance and you're trying to explain to me that I should care about a mortgage. Like why would that make any sense whatsoever when we're pitching startups dot com to potential employees. The first thing I ask is, have you ever worked at a startup or started a company? Because that's going to be my first, you know, fork in the road where I'm like, if, yes, then I can kind of get into contextual stuff, right? You know, fundraising is hard and all that stuff. If no, I've got a paint a very different picture of what a founder's journey looks like and why those problems might be relevant or something you can connect to. Otherwise my pitch isn't going anywhere, but that's not the way people do it. I've got a one size fits all pitch and it starts with all the features and benefits and it's exactly the pitch right to our daughters. You can get into a great college and afford your mortgage and they're like, I don't understand them. Just somebody with recess like that doesn't make any sense in my world. Um, and it's such a, it's such a common oversight. You know what I mean? Yeah, I think the other thing that we, we tend to do is we start to learn what points resonate with people and get them excited. and I'm speaking specifically on the, on let's stick on the employee side, because this is critical, right? Especially the early stage of the startup, the people that you bring on, the people that join the team are going to have a major definition on the future of that company, right? Because just by nature of how startups work, there's a lot of autonomy, there's a lot of uncertainty and therefore you're trusting these people to do the right things and get the jobs done. It's not hard to get people excited about startup companies in a lot of cases, right? Because you've got, you know, a founder that's literally blasting beams of enthusiasm from their eyes and they're just so excited about it, it's not hard to fall into it. So we start to pick these points that we sort of know resonate with people and it's really easy to get people about the excited about the start up. And then I'll ask founders like, okay, but cool, I'm glad they're super excited to work with you, right? I'm glad that they're really pumped up about your mission, Why do you want to work with them? Well, we didn't really spend that much time talking about them, you know, it was mostly about, you know, we get so caught up into pitch mode and getting people excited and we take so much adrenaline. Endorphins serotonin away from having somebody else understand our vision that we forget that like we need to see how they fit into this. And so just founders, as you're listening, be careful about, you know, obviously sell the dream, you know, build the vision but make sure that that doesn't get in the way of understanding who's on the other side of the table. Unless you run the risk of having a bunch of enthusiastic people who can't help you right? Like I can get my daughter pumped up about the startup, right? No problem. She'll be all fired up and then I'll be like, okay, cool, I need you to go build a cold email campaign. She's gonna be like, this is where it breaks down, dad, This is where you lose me. I think where we dropped the ball consistently as founders is we don't make the connection for people. Yeah, we don't. And we have to write, here's your version of the vision. So like, you know, we're saying, you know, here's something you may have experienced, but we can't stop there. We also have to explain how, you know, this exciting problem, this exciting vision applies to your future, right? So if you're a customer, how is your life about to get better? You know, if you're an investor, why will this be a good investment? You know, why we'll be able to pull this off if you're an employee, why is this a good career path? Okay, so, you know, so you've told me that you're solving this important problem, but I just care that I'm going to make more money and this is gonna be an enjoyable job, right? Like how does some of that map back? Right? And again it gets into other parts of the pitch. But I think what's important is you have to understand the folks that were pitching are trying to do that mental math. They're trying to make it relate to them. They're trying to make themselves care about it if we just leave that to them. Hey, I'm just gonna ramble on and you see if you can fill in the blanks total miss, right? It's the same as when we were pitching websites and I just say I'm going to pitch you internet, you figure out how it works for whatever company that makes sense to you total miss once I started to get real explicit and I started to say, okay, look, and I remember like I was pitching a wine company of all things right early on a pretty good size mail order wine companies, like a 25 $30 million company at the time and I was like, look, you'll be able to sell white on the internet. And what's funny is up until that point, it didn't occur to them that they could sell wine on the internet. They were still understanding like why we would talk about wine. Like I just want a web page of pictures of wine, like that doesn't make any sense and it didn't occur to them that like I could solve the problem of e commerce. And so yeah, we can go, we can take this a step further. This isn't just about information, it's about actually fulfilling the outcome that your business is intended to fulfill or so if I'm talking to an employee about why this is like, you know, an exciting vision and I explain to them like you get to build this right? You not only get to help solve these problems, but you get to be the architect, you know, of these solutions, then they're like shit, okay, that's awesome because I'm not doing that at my current job, right? So now I'm more invested in this vision because I see what my role is, right. It's like talking about football but not explaining there's a position on the team, it's like this team is gonna go on to win and they're like, am I playing on this team? I'm on the water boy, what's happening? And so we have to be mindful of tying this back to specifically where they fit in. Yes, you're really talking about selling the outcome at this point right? You know, we've gone through selling the problem selling the vision their version of the vision and then selling the outcome. Well it's like you said, you know, we have to be able to go back and tie this. So it's sequential, right? So if we haven't clearly delineated the problem, there's no version of moving forward from there, right? Because then we haven't anything. So then you gotta be able to tie it into their version of the vision, which is going to involve some level of us giving them the potential outcomes, right? But even those have to be tethered to things that they already wanted to do or in absence of that when presented, will be really excited about going and doing that right? Like they may not have thought again, if they've been working in a corporate environment, they may not have thought there's any version of work that involves me being directly involved in the creation of the product, right? Where I'm like, I'm gonna be driving this, I'm gonna be doing this. And so it's really about mapping back to what matters to them, right? What is the transformation they want to go through? Right? The career progression. If you're talking about your customer, what is the transformation they want to go through? Right? I go from carrying my Nokia smartphone where I can play, what was the game snakes? Um That was not remember that. Yeah, it goes way back. It was a one color phone and now I've got an iphone right now I can do all these other things like there's this transformation that occurs. And so this is the reason that I want to buy into this outcome, right? The outcome is significantly different than what I have now, but it's for me, right? It's my outcome, right? The outcome of the company versus the outcome of the employee versus the outcome of the investor versus the outcome of the customer are all very, very different things. And so it's again, it's about thinking through who you're talking to, what they need to hear, how they need to hear it. And I think it's that last part that we often often dropped the ball on because we don't get close enough, right? We know sort of what they need to hear, but it's the how we deliver it that I think we fall short on more often than not, you know, I think like a good example, you know, we're talking the pitch for startups dot com and we're saying, we want to teach every person on the planet to become a founder, cool. But like then what assuming you've done that, you know, you and I are assuming that when we pitch like that, that everyone else connects the dots as to why that changes things. And then we realized, no, like we can't stop there. Like that's not the vision, that's a component of the vision. It's also not the outcome, right? Making everybody a founder isn't the last step in that vision the last step in that vision is saying that if the world has more founders, you have more people that truly give a sh it about what they do, right? There's no half interested founders, right? When people go all in, they are all in. Right. And so that's what makes our job cool is we get to work with these people all different, you know, lines of work and kind of like what they crafted, but it's theirs, they have ownership and they're all in on what they're trying to do and they're typically trying to do things that haven't been done before, which means that we get these, you know, at least incremental changes and improvements in life, right? Like use the antithesis of that and this is a very hyperbolic statement. But back in, you know, the two thousands when we had the financial collapse when it looked like the entire US was simply selling financial services to each other. Right? That was a problem. Right? There was just this lack of diversity in terms like everybody was just pointed at financial services, right? It's what it felt like that, that's that's hyperbole obviously. But when you run into that type of environment, I think what you're saying and in certain emission startups dot com is to create that level of diversity, right to turn as many people as want and can be founders and the founders so that we get these incremental improvements in life so that there are things happening that aren't happening now that tend to happen in that environment, right? Versus a corporate environment where Yeah, there's innovations, they tend to benefit the corporation and you know, or there's, you know, just a strong financial incentive behind it, not that there shouldn't be a financial incentive behind your startup company, but a lot of them, I would argue most of them start with just a real desire to solve a specific problem often that they've suffered from themselves, which leads to really different outcomes, right? The reason you start right, the place that vision came from is sort of as important as where you take it agreed and it's important to not make the assumption that that they'll connect the dots, right, and maybe they'll connect them a little bit differently. But just to say, hey, this problem solved now look at the rest of the world and you figure it out. I think it's again, a giant miss, I think I'll give you a good example a couple of years ago, I had an opportunity at my kid's school To pitch the school on this idea of making entrepreneurship kind of a core part of how we teach kids in the school runs kindergarten through 12th grade. And so my pitch was essentially this, what if we gave kids to things that they generally don't get in school ownership in agency. And I just started there and I said ownership is when something comes from you, when it feels like you are part of the core in the seed of the idea, you don't take those things lightly when somebody creates something, no matter how mundane it might be, they feel very strongly about it. Conversely, when someone just goes to work on something, it's not that they can't attach some passion to it. It's just not quite the same when you create something. You don't really need a ton of motivation. The creation the process kind of drives that in and of itself, not for everybody and always the same way, but it's pretty consistent. And the second part is agency teaching kids, the idea that they can just go do what they want, not what just what they're told, right? Here's 12 careers. You pick one and you try to get the best grades toward it, right? What if none of those work for you, what if what you want to do? It doesn't make sense toward any of those things. None of those. Yeah, well, again, this is going off and creating things that never existed before. So it can't exist on a list of things to go do, right? Right. And so my outcome to the parents and the faculty, what have you that I was pitching to was what if we were the school that graduates kids that really care about owning what they do, meaning they give a ship their self motivated and they now have all the tools to explore all the possible ways they want to get it done right? And the parents went nuts over it. A lot of parents are founders actually and the parents went nuts over it. Like that's exactly what I've been looking for. Like, dude, why don't we just teach it? Like why use all these abstract paths to kind of hope they get these tools, why not just bake them in like math into the schools credit? They agreed and they went all in on it, It's awesome. But isn't it funny that even an environment like that where it's a progressive environment and the educators are definitely, you know, on, on the right side of that curve and you've got parents who are founders who are used to having ownership and agency, you're literally having a conversation about ownership and agency. And yet it took you taking that final step to connect the dots of saying, why don't we just do this right? Like it's amazing, but we have to be really careful about assuming that people will make these leaps in logic along with us without us literally drawing the lines for them, here's where the pitch would have failed. Hey, we should teach entrepreneurship at the schools, you know, more kids could learn it and here's where that would have failed. It would have failed because every parent would have had a different idea of what I was talking about, Like, well you want to start an M. B. A. Program because they would have thought in their minds that means you specifically want to teach everybody to have a career path that is a founder? And I started off with ownership and agency to say, I don't care if you start a business like that's not really the point, it's to have ownership to give a shout about what it is that you're doing and have the agency and the tools to go pursue it, you might be a musician, but it's your stuff and we're gonna give you the tools to go pursue it in the encouragement, right? Once I painted it in a broader context, they understood now it wasn't terribly hard to pitch because they were half on board, but I think that happens a lot. I think we get a lot of rooms where folks are half onboard when Ellie and I were pitching those VCS, they only took the meeting because they were intrigued with the concept, but we can also put a bullet in this thing by totally making a bunch of assumptions and and just assuming they're going to get to where we already are, which fails every time It does. Yeah, Again, you cannot leave anything to assumption here, right, right. Everything needs to be clearly be eliminated. You need to have all those data points and then you need to draw the line that connects them agreed. And so Ryan, if you're okay, I'll leave you with this selling a big vision isn't about like the fancy pitch, you don't have to be steve jobs, right? There's a formula to this, right? As much about the setup as it is about the delivery, it's about being able to craft that pitch in a way where the problem is so incredible and so well understood that when you start explaining what you do and more importantly how that outcome is going to apply to that person, it's doing all the work for you. And I have to, I would love to throw this into this episode, the greatest pitch I've ever heard. I think you're probably on board with me on this one was martin Luther king's. I have a dream speech right? I don't think there's been a time where I read it or listen to it or watched it where it hasn't just like made me fall apart. So I'd love to end this episode with just a clip that we drop in here that is kind of giving you what is essentially the greatest vision speech of all time which touches on the problem, the solution, the outcome, the application in probably its most purest form. I have a dream that one day this
Wil Schroter: nation will rise
Ryan Rutan: up and
Wil Schroter: live out the true meaning of
Ryan Rutan: its creed. Okay,
Wil Schroter: we hold these truths to be self
Ryan Rutan: evident
Wil Schroter: that all men
Ryan Rutan: are created equal. Yeah, I have a dream that
Wil Schroter: one day on the Red Hills
Ryan Rutan: of Georgia. The sons
Wil Schroter: of former slaves and the sons of former
Ryan Rutan: slave owners will
Wil Schroter: they be able to sit down together at the table
Ryan Rutan: of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day
Wil Schroter: even the state of
Ryan Rutan: Mississippi, a
Wil Schroter: state sweltering
Ryan Rutan: with the heat of injustice,
Wil Schroter: sweltering with the heat of
Ryan Rutan: oppression, will
Wil Schroter: be transformed into an oasis
Ryan Rutan: of freedom and justice.
Wil Schroter: I have a
Ryan Rutan: dream.
Wil Schroter: Mhm. That my four little Children
Ryan Rutan: will one
Wil Schroter: day live in a nation where they will not be judged by
Ryan Rutan: the color of their
Wil Schroter: skin, but by the content
Ryan Rutan: of their character.
Wil Schroter: I have a
Ryan Rutan: dream today.