All Articles

Sell Yourself, Not Your Idea

I can never stress enough that idea is cheap, it’s worthless on it’s own. Execution is what matters. But what about the guys that can get funding even before they have a product? They’re just selling ideas right? Well, it’s not that simple. When you pitch an idea, you’re not actually selling the idea, you are actually selling yourself. Investors believe in the idea if he believes in you, your history or the cool word for it: Your street cred.

Now, people that can get funding with an “idea” are usually these 3 types: startup/business veterans, famous people, lucky bastards (hey there’s always an X factor). Since luck is something that can’t be explained and not to mention unaccountable, let’s talk about the 2 other types

Startup/Business Veterans

Let’s look Dave Morin and Path. Path got funding from prestigious venture firm like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Venture, Digital Garage and First Round Capital. Not to mention a lot of high-profile angels like Ron Conway, Kevin Rose, Joi Ito, Marc Benioff and many others. It’s amazing to see the people that supports Path, it’s not surprising because the founders of Path are also veterans like Dave Morin (former Facebook executive), Justin Timber.. ehm.. I mean Shawn Fanning (Napster, Facebook), and Dustin Mierau (Napster). Raise your hand if you never heard of Facebook and Napster? Those 2 are high profile digital business, no wonder their street creds go way up the roof.

Here’s a little bit more about Dave Morin. He worked at Apple in product and marketing before joining Facebook. He co-invent the revolutionary Facebook Platform which is the world first social platform with 1 million developers in 190 countries. He also co-invent Facebook connect used by over 7 millions app and websites. Need I say more?

Famous People

Digital business caught everyone’s eye including celebrity Will Ferrel who founded Funny or Die, as quoted from Forbes:

The big-screen comedy heavyweight and former SNL star made the move back to the small screen on HBO’s Funny or Die Presents, courtesy of his co-owned online multimedia community of the same name. The content conglomerate, seeded by Sequoia Capital, features original material by comedic bigwigs (Adam McKay and Zach Galifianakis included) and encourages viewers to contribute their own creations. An undisclosed investor chipped in $2 million in December 2008.

So he got backings from Sequoia Capital and an undisclosed investors with $2 million lying around. Yeah I don’t think I need to explain how famous Will Ferrel is.

So what now?

Well we can’t all be super famous celebrity but we can definitely act upon our idea, built your street cred and take it one step at a time. Who knows maybe after your next successful business, you can start selling yourself and your idea with a hefty amount of funding money.

PS: I like to close this article with a quote from Gene Simmons from his book: Sex Money Kiss

Getting jobs has everything to do with your people skills and whether or not you can look people in the face, straight in the eye. What you’re really selling is yourself: your belief in yourself, your self-confidence–that’s what jobs are really about.

Rock on!