Nivi · April 14th, 2010
The top 3 things we look for in the startups that apply to AngelList are initial traction, social proof, and product. The team is also obviously important, but good teams tend to have good traction, social proof, and products.
Since I was a child, people have asked me, “How much traction do investors want to see?” My answer is “you tell me.” Find the competitors that investors wish they had invested in, and compare yourself to them. And skip the #’s — show graphs. The Google Analytics screenshot above compares the traffic bump that [Startup Digest] got from TechCrunch vs. Venture Hacks.
Even better, show cumulative graphs that imply your second derivative is positive:
(Unlike these graphs, make sure you include axis labels, a legend, and a title.)
I’ve heard that Google’s entire presentation when they were raising money was a metrics graph. You should put together a more complete presentation than that — but, if you only have time to pull together one slide, make it traction.