In working to build a strong case for a new company, at some point one is required to sit down and present the idea to others who could potentially be involved. One has no choice. It is not optional. Even if one is going to self fund the initial development costs, a time will come where one has to talk with a potential customer or two.
The first encounter is never easy or automatic, at least for me. The risk, stating the obvious, is that one’s pitch could be rejected. Before that happens, I find myself working to convey an open mind, willing spirit, and thick skin. It helps if one is calm and collected. It can make a difference if you are starting with creditability and trust. As much as one can procrastinate in the name of being prepared, inevitably the moment arrives and one has to step up.
I find that when I go into the presentation with a partner it makes all the difference. Somehow being with someone makes everything easier. The ability to hear bad news is easier. The pain that comes from rejections seems to be a little bit less. Even bad news is heard in a larger context.
As a result, I am not a fan of going it alone. One needs the presence of others. For me, it is not optional. The strength that comes from community is compelling. The wisdom that comes with diversity makes a difference. It is a model that one does well to hold onto.
As I reflect on the feedback of recent pitches, I am struck by the observation that writers have made in the past. When David noted that the “the whole choir blesses God. Like a fountain of praise, Israel blesses God.” (Psalm 68.26) His observation of how individuals banded together with to form a single voice, building on what works, and strengthening each other, is one that I carry with me.
The conversation with potential participants continues. There is a tangible sense of strength and building momentum. Others make the difference.