I’ve been reading “Boo Hoo: A Dot-Com Story” the last couple of days — it’s a fun throwback to my own dot-com days in the late 90’s/early 00’s (and reminded me that the ripple effect of boo’s spectacular crash sunk my own startup).
In the book, the author, one of the founders of boo.com, describes a scene where he and his co-founders pitch to a series of investors who are grilling them over the details of their business (and how uncomfortable it made them).
It’s an important lesson for every entrepreneur: You need to know your stuff inside out. Not just your pitch but every aspect of your company: What’s your ARPU? Customer Lifetime Value? Customer Acquisition Cost? Viral Coefficient? Marketing Spend as % of Revenue? Development of margin over time? Revenue per employee?
The only way I found you can train yourself to answer all these questions in a rapid fire way is to practice. Over and over again. I learned this from my dear colleague Monique Giggy, who heads up Singularity University’s startup programs: She built this into our program and calls it “On the Spot”.
Get together with some other founders and start practicing — pepper each other with tough questions and coach each other to great answers.