Pitching Hacks Posts

“Your first stop if raising money!”

– Adam Smith, Founder of Xobni

The rumors are true. You can buy Pitching Hacks in paperback, for $19. And you can still buy the good old-fashioned PDF for $9. Get them here.

So far, we’ve sold about 700 copies of Pitching Hacks and gotten great reviews. But we want to sell even more.

So we’re selling it in paperback. And we’ve added a short new section on Pitching Resources, with links to great blog posts we wish we had written. And we’re giving away the first two chapters of the book for free. You can find the new Pitching Resources section and free chapters here:

Link: Pitching Hacks Preview (pdf)

Buy Pitching Hacks here.

I recently gave a talk on pitching startups to the students in Stanford’s business plan competition.

I recorded the talk with my iPhone and sync’ed it with the slides below. I think the talk came out well — let me know what you think. I discuss a lot of the material from our book, Pitching Hacks.

Thanks to Stanford’s BASES for putting on the event!

Slides: Pitching Hacks at Stanford (pdf)

Audio: Pitching Hacks at Stanford (mp3)

We released Pitching Hacks about 30 days ago. Since then, we’ve sold 280 copies, brought in $4272 of revenue (including almost $1000 from beta testers), and received lots of positive reviews on Twitter. Thanks to everyone who bought the book and spread the word!

Encouraging word-of-mouth

We give everyone who buys the book a $5 discount code to encourage them to tell their friends about Pitching Hacks. It works: you can see people sharing the discount code on Google and Twitter.  We were trying to figure out how to make the book viral and, technically, this doesn’t make the book viral — but it does encourage word of mouth.

More excerpts

Wilson Sonsini kindly published our chapter on Introductions in their Entrepreneur’s Report for Winter 2008 (pdf).

And I put together this two-slide summary of the entire book for Steve Blank‘s customer development class.

Slides: Pitching Hacks (pdf)

Why aren’t you buying site licenses?

A single copy of Pitching Hacks is $19 and a five-copy site license is $29. We have literally sold two site licenses — and one of them was to my dad!

When 37signals published Getting Real, 10% of their buyers bought site licenses. Pitching Hacks is only clocking 1%. Please let us know why you aren’t buying site licenses — I’m interested!

Read more free samples from Pitching Hacks and buy it here.

Pitching Hacks is here. The PDF is $29 and you can download it immediately. 83 pages. Buy it here. Fuck that, it’s free.


We’ve raised $100 million for startups like Epinions, invested another $20 million in companies like Twitter, and advised many others. Pitching Hacks shows you how to apply the simple lessons we’ve learned along the way. Check out these samples:

Table of Contents
Why do I need an introduction?
Can I get investors to sign an NDA?

Many successful investors and entrepreneurs like Marc Andreessen, David Cowan, and Brad Feld have generously contributed passages sprinkled throughout this weighty tome.

Many of the ideas in Pitching Hacks first appeared on this blog — that was our first draft. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve written this book — a second draft. Please send us more feedback — so the next revision is even better. You can always reach us at team@venturehacks.com.


Thanks to the beta testers who paid to give us amazing feedback (check your inbox for a revised copy!). They made the book much better. Here are some of their (unsolicited) testimonials:

“Your first stop if raising money!” – Adam Smith, Xobni

“Almost every sentence in Pitching Hacks is a valuable nugget. I thought the book was *awesome*, and definitely up to the high standard of quality that you’ve already established in your blog.” – Travis Leleu, Industrial Interface

“Pitching Hacks is amazing, just packed with great practical advice. A must-read if you’re even thinking of raising money.” – Luke Groesbeck, JobAlchemist

“I loved the book!  I suppose it should be no surprise that a book about articulating ideas clearly and concisely, has managed to clearly and concisely articulate its ideas.” – Aaron Iba, EtherPad

“I really truly liked the book. Entertaining and informative read. Can’t say that about a lot of business-related books.” – Yokum Taku, Wilson Sonsini

Last week, we put out a call for beta testers for our new book, Pitching Hacks (sign up to be notified when it comes out). We want to share some interesting stats and feedback that we’ve received from our testers.

Response rate

First, 120 people signed up to test Pitching Hacks, and 45 of them followed through and bought the book.

On the one hand, a 38% response rate is amazing, especially since we’re asking beta testers to pay for the book (of course, we promised to send them the final draft when it’s ready).

On the other hand, we’re really wondering what happened to the other 75 people who signed up, but didn’t buy the book. If you’re one of these people, please get in touch and let us know why you didn’t buy the book! E-mail us or fill in this form.


16 of our beta testers got in touch with us and sent great feedback, leading to many changes in the book and checkout process: adding a sentence here and there to clarify our meaning, improving the formatting so the book is easier to read, adding a notice to use the latest version of Adobe Reader if you’re having problems viewing the book, etc.

Our beta testers rocked. Next time we start working on a new product, we’re going to involve our community in product development much earlier. And we’re going to think about how to start collecting money earlier.

We don’t think there’s anything wrong with charging your beta testers. If you’re organizing your business around feedback, why distinguish between the feedback you get from beta testers and the feedback you get from regular customers? They’re both paying to give you feedback. And the #1 piece of feedback they’re giving you is that they’re willing to pay for your product.

Of course, you should do something special for your beta testers, like giving them a discount. Or a hug.


A nice side effect of the feedback from our beta testers is a collection of honest, unprompted testimonials that we can use to promote the book:

“The book was quite enjoyable (maybe because we are exactly starting to look for VC funding!)” – Emmanuel Marot

“This was a great, extremely fast-paced read.” – Andre Gharakhanian

“Thanks for the book. I just bought 5 licenses. I am very proud of you. This is fantastic. Mommy is also thrilled.” – Dad (Joke!)

Sign up to be notified when we release Pitching Hacks.

Pitching Hacks is almost ready. It’s all about pitching startups to investors. And we need your help testing it out.

We’re looking for testers who want to buy the book for $19 and give us feedback on the whole experience. Is the checkout process lame? Does the book suck? Did your computer explode? Did your head explode?

Sign up to be a tester. Of course, we’ll send you a new copy when the final draft comes out.

Free samples

Here’s the Table of Contents and an essay called Why do I need an introduction? More samples to come.

Sign up to be a tester or sign up to be notified when the book comes out.

We’re busy working on our first book: Pitching Hacks. We’re excited and—you guessed it—it’s all about pitching to investors.

The book also includes passages from the writings of Marc Andreessen, David Cowan, Brad Feld, and a mess of other folks.

Sign up to get an email when we release Pitching Hacks. Here’s a couple pictures of its gory insides from our first draft:

Stay tuned for updates on our progress and sign up to get an email when we release Pitching Hacks.