If you have a strong traction slide, nothing else about your pitch deck matters
This is common It’s accepted wisdom that you need between 10 and 20 slides to tell your startup story. However, most entrepreneurs don’t seem to realize that not all slides are the same. Some slides carry more weight than others – and three of them are absolutely crucial. Today, I’m going to tell you why those three slides are so important.
A way to use this article is to think about these qualities you have in your startup to help organize your pitch deck. For example, number 1 on this list is traction. If you have excellent traction, it should probably be the first slide in your deck. If your traction is flat (ie, not increasing, or decreasing), poor or non-existent — maybe Don’t highlight it And think about how you can tell your story.
1 – Traction is king
Up and to the right. Which makes sense. Up and to the left is time travel, and if you can do that, you’ll have more valuable company than you think.
Your traction slide is, by some significant margin, your trump card. If you are showing huge amount of income and rapid growth, all other sins are forgiven.
It doesn’t matter if you have an inexperienced team, a terrible product, or a questionable market. If you have money coming in and can show growth of 9% or more week over week, you can raise money.
There is a hierarchy of what type of traction helps:
- profit If you’re cash-positive and growing fast, you don’t even need venture capital — but if raising cash helps you grow even faster, you’re in a great place.
- ARR. If your annual recurring income is growing rapidly, you’re in luck. Recurring revenues and SaaS dynamics mean you’re on to something.
- Active users. If you’re growing your user base exponentially without knowing how to monetize them, that’s still an impressive feat. If you can show that you can build a huge, sticky audience, you can probably find a way to make money in that line.
- Sign-ups. If you’re seeing massive growth in the number of sign-ups for your product or service, even if they’re not generating revenue or consistent, there’s still value in that — even if your traction slide is a solid “How does it make money?” slide.