Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about “mega trends” and how to use them when pitching your startup. Investors like mega trends. After all, they’re big. And most of us are aware of them and have been affected by them (or expect to be in the future). Tens of millions of baby boomers getting set to retire, for example, is a mega trend. Everyone using an iPad is another mega trend (OK, I had to slip in an iPad reference somewhere!)
Mega trends are good for storytelling, and a big part of doing a great startup pitch is exactly that … telling a story.
Startups should leverage mega trends and weave them into their pitches. Startups should also think about how they can piggyback on other companies that have huge traction. An obvious example is Twitter. Lots of companies are piggybacking on Twitter. But very few of them do it well. At some point in a startup’s life it has to jump off the mega beast’s back and be able to survive and scale much more on its own. StockTwits is a great example of that. It started by aggregating tweets with a $ symbol and capturing the conversation on Twitter about stocks and stock trading (which was largely already happening). Stocktwits found itself at the intersection (or piggybacking) on a couple mega trends – Twitter and people’s appetite for communicating on stocks (in a more public way). But ever since it launched, Stocktwits has actively pulled itself away from Twitter, reducing its reliance on it.
Which ones will your startup ride and leverage? Which mega trends and mega companies can you piggyback on, use to tell a great story, and then move to the front of, in order to become a leader (instead of a follower)?