What Are You Building & Why?

I start every GAN Ventures diligence meeting with the same question: “What are you building and why?”

I love this question because it is so simple, but incredibly revealing. By the time I’m asking the question, I’m pretty familiar with the company — I’ve reviewed the pitch deck and done plenty of basic research. I could probably answer the question myself. So, what I’m really looking for is how well founders can articulate key aspects of their company’s story. Most fumble their answer.

Every potential investor, customer, and employee will ask a question similar to this one. There really are two key parts of it: WHAT your business does and WHY your business does it. I recommend that founders practice a 2–5 sentence answer to this question so it’s always in their back pocket.

Most founders focus on answering the WHAT portion, but including at least a sentence or two of WHY you’re building that can be incredibly powerful. Highlighting your passion and purpose behind your startup shows your commitment to what you’re building and adds a narrative to the company story. Everyone loves to know the behind the scenes and hear the personal aspect that drives your motivation and pushes you to do what you do. When someone is emotionally invested and has a real driver that’s bigger than them it pushes them beyond what they think they’re capable of. After all, your personal motivation may strike a chord with the potential investor, employee etc.

There isn’t a right answer to this question, but it provides an anecdote that will make your company more memorable. If answered well it will quickly reveal how capable you are at selling your company and vision.