Conviction

Excellent thoughts by Eric Paley about sharing the process of conviction — identifying the correct ratio of instinct and early validation of instinct with customer data — with an investor:

I don’t think the investor process to get to conviction is that different than the entrepreneur process to get to conviction; the challenge is at the pitch stage, when VC and founder are at vastly different points in the conviction process.  I advise entrepreneurs to take investors through their own process of getting to conviction.  What made them want to drop everything to build this business? Hopefully that process was a good combination of instincts and various forms of customer validation of those instincts.  Entrepreneurs driven completely by instincts will typically struggle to find an investor who equally shares conviction purely based on the same instincts, unless they share similar experiences that shape how they think about the opportunity.  It’s way more effective to frame instincts as hypotheses and then show interesting early customer development data that helps validate the hypotheses.