Hello World

Hello World

Your slide #1.

Investors receive dozens, even hundreds of startup decks every month. You think they patiently read every single one of them? Time to wake up. You heard me say it before: investors give you their attention in increments of 8 seconds.

Now picture this: the investor opens your deck and their first impression of you is a low-res logo, a long jargon-ny tagline and some cryptic image. What the f*ck is this?, he wonders. Your 8 seconds are gone. You're done. Sayonara. Next.

One thing.

If there's one thing, and one thing only, you take away from these emails, make sure it's this: be clear before getting creative. Pitch decks must be simple, clear and concise before they can be beautiful, shiny and exciting. Time to get the priorities straight.


When it comes to pitch deck accounting, your first slide is worth 30% of everything. Alone, it won't close the deal. But check these 3 boxes and you'll show the investor you value his time, understand how he thinks and cater to his needs.

Set the mood. Two-thirds of your Hello World slide must be a carefully chosen image that will help you achieve two things: explain what your startup does and trigger some subconscious emotional response from the investor. In my experience, this is the most often overlooked aspect of any opening slide.
Logo and Tagline. Add your logo. Craft a clear one-liner, memorable, relevant, maximum of seven words. Include what you make, who you make it for and what's your secret sauce. Be clear. No jargon, no bullshit. Unless you're a copywriting genius, keep it simple. Remember Apple's Iphone one-liner? 1,000 songs in your pocket? That's the gold standard.
Screenshot. You don't want investors imagining. You'd better show it. You make an app? Add a screenshot. Manufacture a product? Add a photo of your product. Be single-minded: one screen, one feature. As it happens with the remaining elements of the first slide, make everything as simple and clear as possible. Trust me, it'll serve you well.

No need to complicate, this is it. You know the way now. It's forward.

Next up is slide #2, the most important. If you have some time, give the Hello World slide a go. With decks, as it happens with life: avoid regrets.