Questions that investors can ask

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  • Who needs what you're making?
  • How do you know they need it?
  • What are they doing now?
  • What, exactly, makes you different from existing options?
  • Why isn't someone already doing this?
  • What obstacles will you face and how will you overcome them?
  • How will customers and/or users find out about you?
  • What are you going to spend the 10000 on?
  • How are you going to make money?

  • How much are we going to raise in your second round of funding?
  • Have a clever response to the inevitable comment: "This seems more like a feature than a product."
  • Know in advance of the meeting whoever your most popular competitor would be. Be prepared with a very good answer to answer the question "Why wouldn't I just use [most popular competitor]"?
  • Be prepared with a very good answer to the question "How are you going to get users/customers?"
  • Make a mock-up of however you plan to make money on your website. Even if you have a good answer for monetization, be prepared to actually show off at least a mock-up of a money-making feature on your site like a payment processing page.
  • Avoid using the word "passionate". So many founders and interview candidates claim they are "passionate" about something that the expression is meaningless and lacks creativity.
  • What resistance will they have to trying you?
  • How will you overcome that resistance?
  • What are the key things about your field that outsiders don't understand?

  • What part of your project are you going to build first?
  • If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
  • Why did you choose this idea?
  • What have you learned so far from working on it? Six months from now, what's going to be your biggest problem?
  • If you're already launched, you should know everything you can about your users. Where do new users come from? What is your traffic trend like? What's the conversion rate? What makes new users try you? Why do the reluctant ones hold back? What are the top things users want? What has surprised you about user behavior?
  • Why do you think there is opportunity for your idea?
  • How is this going to take over the world?
  • What businesses are you going to make irrevalant?
  • If you require network effects for success, how do you plan on building that network?
  • How do you plan to make money?

  • What will be your competitive advantages?
  • What will you do if Google/Microsoft/BigCo enters this space? What’s different about what you're doing that they can't replicate?
  • What possible pivots could you consider?
  • Do we focus on revenue now or not?
  • Do we focus on top line user growth or % penetration in a more narrowly defined market segment?
  • Do we try to get dozens of small paying customers, or one or two flagship accounts?
  • Do you hire more sales people or more engineers?
  • What does the product need to be able to achieve to get the right customers sufficiently excited soon enough?
  • How will we know if this product is delighting customers or if we need to pivot or start over?
  • What is something you believe that nearly no one agrees with you on?
  • What is a great company no one has started?
  • Why will the 20th talented person want to join your company join your company? They’ll make more money at Google, Google will look better on their resume — why would they join?
  • How did you (founders) come to be entrepreneurs?
  • What led you to this market/idea in particular (and what markets/ideas did you discard along the way)?
  • What is your path to victory?
  • What are your exit expectations?
  • Who are your current customers - paid/non-paid?
  • What are your current challenges next 1-6 mths?
  • Who is your competition and how are you different?
  • What will make you succeed?

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