作者:未知 来源:未知 2014-09-03 我要评论( )

This Entrepreneur Raised $2M With A Five-Slide Presentation -- About Nothing


He may sound crazy, but there’s a method to his madness. Itay Adam is already well-funded and staffed to create “the next big thing.” All that remains is to come up with an idea.

他或许是一个疯子,不过这种疯狂行为看上去自有其道理。伊泰·亚当(Itay Adam)眼下既不缺人也不缺钱,只等一个好创意,就可以动手去创造“下一个大事件”。

On a memorable episode of the hit 1990s sitcom Seinfeld, NBC executives meet Jerry after his nightclub act and ask him to come up with an idea for a TV series. His friend George decides he can be a sitcom writer and comes up with the idea of it being “a show about nothing,” and it worked! Run with it.


Itay Adam is an outgoing chutzpah-filled Israeli, a lifelong entrepreneur and a huge Seinfeld fan. In his 22 years of online marketing, after funding many ventures, both successful and not, Adam went on (much like on Seinfeld) to raise money for a company about nothing.


Recently, Adam closed a seed round of $2 million with a private equity firm based in London, Brazil and Colombia. His entire pitch consisted of one simple, 40-minute, five-slide presentation. One brave man in jeans and a T-shirt, five basic slides, 18 jokes, but no product. His first slide was simply a quote taken straight out of Seinfeld: “This is a show about nothing.”


But how did he do it? Adam explains it was all about philosophy, experience, age and passion. In fact, he even hired a professional screenwriter for his self-described 40-minute stand-up comedy act to pitch to the private equity firm, which he practiced for a week. Then he gave them the best show possible. For Adam, entertainment is everything: standup = startup.


A few days later, they signed a $2 million round with no product, just a smart and rather simple, yet very real belief: “Look,” Adam explains, “nobody knows what the next big thing is going to be, it’s all just speculation. My goal is to build a team of five to six people, all veterans with a proven track record, all over the age of 35, to create that next big thing, whatever it may be.”


“When you ask the common entrepreneur who is his role model is,” Adam continues, “ I bet most of them will say Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Mine is Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy. He turned a boring domain registry into one of the sexiest services online today. Hell, buying a 30-second commercial with 90% of what’s left in your company’s bank account is what I call an ‘all in’ move. Sometimes, that’s the only way to make a dramatic change — for better or for worse. Status-quo is a b****.”

“当你问那些普通的创业者,他的榜样是谁,”亚当继续说,“我敢打赌,其中,很多人会说是史蒂夫·乔布斯(Steve Jobs)或者比尔·盖茨(Bill Gates)。我的榜样却是GoDaddy公司的创始人鲍勃·帕森斯(Bob Parsons)。他把一家平淡无奇的域名注册公司改造成为当今网络最具吸引力的服务之一。见鬼,把你银行里的钱拿出90%去买一条30秒的广告就是我称之为的‘全力以赴’。有时候,那是进行巨大转变的唯一方法,无论结果好坏。维持现状是可耻的。 ”

Experience Over Youth


Although his thinking is logical, Adam’s ideas are bucking the trend — especially in startups that tend to hire mostly young people.


“Most startups hire 20-year-old kids who are willing to work day and night at the office,” Adam says. “I don’t believe in that. I’d much rather hire an older, more experienced employee to work a regular eight-hour workday and who will get more done in that time than an inexperienced 20-year-old kid would in week!”


He cites the example of single mothers, explaining how they come to work at 8 a.m. sharp, make their cup of coffee, sit at their work stations and don’t get up till 3 p.m. when they have to leave to go pick up their kids. In those seven hours, they manage to get more work done than most other employees simply because they need to be more efficient with their time. Those are the types of workers Adam is looking for.


Team First, Then Product


After a career of marketing more than 1,000 different products, Adam decided that he would not build a single web page unless he was backed with the right money to build the right team to research, test, and find the “golden angle.” Now that his venture has been generously funded, Adam has assembled the best team he can find: a handpicked team of hard-working, experienced and passionate people who want to build things. For Adam, at the end of the day, it’s all about the team. As for what that team will create, well, that remains to be decided.


Looking For Funds In All The Wrong Places


Adam did share one very key insight he picked up along the way: Stop looking for funding where everyone else is looking. Seek your money where the VCs seek theirs.


“Everybody looks for funding in the same old places, with the same old VCs,” Adam shakes his head. “Open your mind and look elsewhere. Be unique. If you’re building a product that’s unique, the place where you seek funding should be unique, too. Ask yourself where those VCs get their money and go there.”


Adam raised his funding from a private equity based in South America. According to Adam, South America is loaded with money and is seeking new opportunities.


“Follow my advice,” Adam adds. “If you want money from investors, give them a great show! Hire a screenwriter if you have to, just like I did. Make sure you’re putting on a great act with your pitch! For me, watching a lot of Louis C.K. stand-up comedy performances turned out to be a great investment.”

“就按照我的建议,”亚当又说,“如果你想要从投资者那里获得资金,就给他们演出好戏!如果不得已,那么和我一样,聘请一位编剧。确保你将要上演的好戏,与你的宣传保持一致!我看了许多路易斯·C.K.(Louis C.K.)的脱口秀喜剧电影,而这最后变成了一项了不起的投资。”

BetaPopcorn – Entertaining Internet


Adam has one definite thing to say about his not yet defined company — it will be entertaining. According to Adam, if you can entertain, you are providing a service that is in-demand, plain and simple. In his view, if a product is not entertaining, it has no justified validation.


Adam makes a valid point. Nowadays everything new aims to simplify our lives rather than make them harder. Expectations for new products are high, and they must work with us, not against us. If you manage to build something that makes people’s lives easier (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.), you’ve managed to entertain.


Adam calls his new think tank BetaPopcorn because when you think “entertainment” you think of popcorn, where he and his “dream team” will seek out the next big thing, whatever that may be, and then go out and build it.


Itay Adam may not have an idea, product or concept yet, but he does have a team, a direction and a unique vision — plus $2 million in his pocket — which is a lot more than most other startups can say.



episode ['episəud]
n. 插曲;一段情节;插话;有趣的事件

investor [in'vestə]
n. 投资者

insight ['insait]
n. 洞察力;洞悉

entertain [,entə'tein]
vt. 娱乐;招待;怀抱;容纳vi. 款待

staff [stɑ:f, stæf]
n. 职员;参谋;棒;支撑adj. 职员的;行政工作的vt. 供给人员;给…配备职员vi. 雇用工作人员

cite [sait]
vt. 引用;传讯;想起;表彰

entrepreneur [,ɔntrəprə'nə:]
n. 企业家;承包人;主办者

madness ['mædnis]
n. 疯狂;愚蠢的行为

passionate ['pæʃənit]
adj. 热情的;热烈的,激昂的;易怒的

equity ['ekwəti]
n. 公平,公正;衡平法;普通股;抵押资产的净值