The 10/20/30 Rule

The 10/20/30 Rule

Guy Kawasaki was Apple’s first brand evangelist. He would go and meet with the most excited customers and empower them to spread the word about Apple. He’s now a world renowned author, speaker, venture capitalist, inventor, CEO, the list goes on forever.

He has a great 3 part video series on YouTube that discusses presenting your idea to an investor. This is pure gold and it’s sitting free here on YouTube for you.

The 10/20/30 Rule.

  • 10 slides
  • 20 minutes maximum
  • 30 point font minimum (The key here is to divide the age of oldest person in the room by 2 and that’s the minimum size of your font. So the oldest guy in the room is 68, minimum font size is 34.)

Guy K gets pitched 100s of ideas annually. If you’ve ever wondered how an investor filters your idea, here’s another of Guy’s rules: Any time he hears a prediction, he immediately adds 1 year to the entrepreneur’s professed shipping date (or company launch date) and divides the amount of money they’ll make by 100.

Example, “Yeah we’re launching our new company next month and we’re going to make at least $100 million dollars by year 3.”

Translation: “We’ll launch this time next year and if we ever make money, we’ll make $1 million dollars.”

Takeaway: predictions are absolutely useless. Talk about the team, the technology, the vision and the execution of the strategy. Do the predictions, but don’t blatantly plaster them all over the wall when they won’t be accurate next month anyway.

Finally, to go along with our free How To Pitch Your Company in 12 slides, Guy lays out a beautiful step by step on what to put on your slides. We’ve included this in our PDF download you get when signing up for our blog, but here’s the quick cheat sheet for you:

Slide outline:

  1. Title
  2. Problem
  3. Solution
  4. Biz Model
  5. Underlying Magic
  6. Marketing/Sales
  7. Competition
  8. Team
  9. Projections
  10. Status/Timeline

[Source, watch the 2nd video starting at 4:25.]

(photo via m.a.lopez)