I’ll Be Your Quickest Investor “No”

Me, after hearing your pitch

I like money. No, I really like money. I like it more than making little kids cry. The delicious tears of our nation’s youth are a close second, admittedly, but there it is. The thing is, as an angel investor, software engineer, consultant, and all-around loosely-ethical wünderturd, it’s really easy for me to get more money. However, based on our current understanding of physics, it’s not as trivial for me to get more time.

What does this mean for entrepreneurs who pitch me? It means that I’m doing us both a favor by giving you a quick “no” and moving on. Also, by not putting my testicles on the table. It’s a tough call which one will help you more in the long run, when you factor in the rising costs of therapy, and the fact that seeing my testicles is probably a pre-existing condition under Trumpcare.

The truth is, I’ve probably heard your idea before. It’s probably also stupid, and at most half baked. You probably only got a meeting with me because you pestered someone who is loosely in my network, and I’m constantly seeking approval from people I barely know. That, or you sucked up to me, which is also embarrassingly effective.

So, what can I do to add immediate value in such a scenario? I tell you as rapidly as practically possible that I will not be putting money into your startup, regardless of how many buzzwords you checked off (I’m looking at you, “Machine Learning Algorithms”).

It’s not because I’m a jerk (but it’s also not because I’m not a jerk). Rather, it’s because if you and I aren’t going to do business, we should have that understanding as rapidly as possible so we can move on to deals we actually will do. It really doesn’t do us any mutual good to spend time telling each other how great we are, how smart we are, or how wonderful you look in the reflection from my bald head (really, the last one probably does us the least good, so please keep it to yourself).

So, the next time I do you the favor of telling you “no” faster than a chocolate cake disappears at a Jenny Craig meeting, remember how much time I just saved us, and thank me accordingly.