Just once I'd like to see a pitch deck with a slide for the hiring plan and *most* importantly, how they're going to execute it.
VCs talk about customer acquisition and competition as critical parts of the pitch--when 99% of the time the real answers are:
a) Well, we'll do some PR, some social, some paid when we figure out what a customer is worth, some BD
b) No one's even using *anything* in this space yet, so our true competition is apathy and lack of awareness.
Yet, where a company can *really* differentiate itself is in its ability to identify and recruit top talent. Top talent drives revenues, business development, great product development. If you know how to get great people, you're going to have a huge advantage in the market--yet few investors ever seem to ask about this or care.
"Oh, you're going to hire 15 engineers with my $5mm? Cool... sounds good."
There are companies out there bleeding talent or completely failing to close on the top people and it's really effecting them. Unless startups figure this stuff out, they're going to be toast. That's why recruiting has been such a focus for me the past few years. I've placed almost 30 people at startup companies, from developers to designers, in the past few years because there's no greater impact I can make on a company.
If you're making angel investments or doing VC deals, do me a favor--at least ask the question. The whole ecosystem will be better for it.