This particular slide came across my inbox recently in a pitch deck.


What’s funky here? (I’ve removed names and details to protect the innocent.)

Hint: it’s the word “cumulative” at the bottom of each graph.

Well, what’s wrong with that? Plenty.

People looking at revenue growth graphs like this are universally expecting per-month total revenue. This slide represents shows cumulative revenue since the company began.

In an attempt to show “up and to the right” growth, this slide has done the opposite and put everything in the deck in question. “What else should I be questioning in this deck?” says your potential investor.

The lesson is be real in your pitch deck.

Misleading investors or customers (or yourself) will only get you into trouble. If you’re pitch deck can’t tell a good story directly, then the answer is to fix the business to make it more appealing to investors.

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I’m an entrepreneur and seed-stage internet VC living in San Antonio, Texas. I blog at

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