I’m lucky in that once a week I get to sit down and hear founders pitch their companies and products. As I listen I’m asking myself two things:
- Why or why not might this work?
- How can I add value to this team? I want to talk about #2.
Generally, the people who add the most value in the pitch “post-mortem” are those who can see the future of the product.
Said another way: people who intuitively see where a product is headed in terms of features, partners, and distribution add immense value. Granted, many startups end up changing their idea altogether.
At the beginning founders probably won’t know what their product will morph into 2 years down the road. But there is value in seeing the next steps, and founders will appreciate hearing those ideas.
Ideas that fit the product road map, with suggestions about partners and distribution channels that compliment the product. It’s valuable enough that Paul Graham said “Sometimes I can see a path that’s not immediately obvious; that’s one of our specialties at YC.”