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Voici le profil des meilleurs investisseurs en startups

Le problème des profils purement financiers, c'est que leur sensibilité au marketing, au branding, aux univers de marques est souvent limitée. Or, c'est, dans de nombreux cas, l'un des actifs stratégiques des startups : arriver à créer une demande autour d'une proposition de valeur forte, superbement mise en avant, un produit "fittant" parfaitement avec son marché.

Les meilleurs investisseurs en startups que je connais sont des gens qui ont une bonne compréhension et lecture marketing au sens large : ils savent reconnaitre un excellent produit, une excellente UX/UI, un besoin pas bien adressé jusqu'alors et en quoi les détails du business model font que le projet a de fortes chances d'être un succès.

Les meilleurs investisseurs en startups sont ceux qui parviennent à entrer dans les détails d'un business model, du produit au service client en passant par les canaux de distribution, sans faire preuve d'aucun dogmatisme. C'est d'autant plus difficile que les investisseurs voient passer des centaines ou des milliers de projets chaque année et qu'il est tout à fait humain de faire des comparaisons hâtives et de se raccrocher à des cas que l'on a vus plusieurs fois.

Ayant récemment lu "Angel" de Jason Calacanis, je vous mets ici plusieurs extraits qui m'ont semblé pertinents :

- "While it’s totally crazy to make each of these bets on an individual basis, it’s even crazier to not make one hundred of them."

- “I invest in people who build things, not people who talk about building things.”

- "I didn’t see it, because I was a blogging snob. I had sold my blogging company, Weblogs, Inc., to AOL for $30 million shortly before Twitter was invented and I thought I knew better than anyone how this shit worked."

- "Remember, your competition [the other BAs] doesn’t take meetings with founders seriously because they think, incorrectly, that they have the power."

- "Your challenge isn’t writing the checks, it’s convincing the right founders to cash them."

-"There are some really, really bad answers to the question “Why are you doing this?” The worst two answers, which you’ll hear often, are “To make money” and “Because INSERT-SUCCESSFUL-COMPANY-NAME-HERE doesn’t do it.” If folks are building a startup for money, they will eventually quit when they realize there are many better ways to make money faster and with more certainty. If you want to make a lot of money, you’re better off being a world-class programmer on a very esoteric and in-demand vertical and getting Google or Facebook to give you $1 million-plus a year in stock and cash for ten years in a row. You have no downside, you can work a couple of hours a day, and you get unlimited free food."

- "Google was the twelfth search engine. Facebook was the tenth social network. iPad was the twentieth tablet. It’s not who gets there first. It’s who gets there first when the market’s ready."

- "If you [as a BA] are talking more than 5 percent of the time during the first half of the meeting, you’re doing it wrong and you won’t extract the information you need to make your investment decision."

- "In my experience, getting in too early is the cardinal mistake of new angel investors. Here is what I see in the market—back of the envelope—and it should give you pause: 99 percent of people who write an idea on the back of napkin never do it. 95 percent of people who write a business plan never execute on it. 90 percent of people who build a prototype never build an MVP. 80 percent of people who build an MVP never do a beta test. 80 percent of people who do a beta test never incorporate. 95 percent of people who run a successful beta never raise money."

- "Valuations matter, but what’s more important is that you get into the best deals."

- "An individual venture capitalist might invest in one or two deals a year and join each company’s board of directors until they’re on eight or ten boards. You [BA] will invest in five to fifteen startups a year and join no boards."

- "However, as we’ve seen from giant frauds like Enron, Bernie Madoff, and now the spectacular collapse of Theranos, even these background checks can reveal nothing if it’s the first time the founders get caught with their hands in the cookie jar."

- "What you see here is a pattern. Founders believe that one magical event is going to save the startup, be it adding a feature or a team member or a customer. You have to ask yourself two questions when presented with this strategy. First, is it true that this one event will change their trajectory? Second, is it possible to reach that event given these additional resources?"

- "I compare running startups or angel investing in them to being thrown into a large, pitch-black gymnasium with one light switch. You fumble around in the dark, having no idea what you’re doing, until you find a tiny switch, flick it up, and all is revealed."

Corentin Orsini - fondateur de Super Capital et Angel investor

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