Lately, I've been involved in the community of Startup Investments.
There are a surprisingly large number of companies pitching, many of them in the areas of tech and apps. The groups are also pre-screened...so the startups that are coming in to pitch are extremely interesting, very cool...and they all sound great.
After you've seen 40 or more fantastic pitches, I have come to learn that there are different levels of 'stuck' for each company. It's interesting to see how sometimes they know they are stuck, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they require money and sometimes they just need more expertise.
I use THREE kinds of filter questions to determine where each company is becoming stuck and ultimately, whether or not I can believe strongly enough in them in order to invest.
1. WHY? Why would I choose this product? Why would I choose this company? What problem can they solve? How can they improve the world?
2. WHY NOW? Is the timing right for this particular product and company?
3. WHY THEM? Is the leadership right? Do I believe this person could build this company into a 10x or 20x investment for me?
These are the 3 filter questions I use to make the initial process more efficient. My job is to communicate with these companies, ask questions, and have conversations with them so that they become really clear in their explanations and help investors determine whether or not they are a good fit.
In order to invest, you have to believe.