How to Perform Inception on a VC

One of my favorite phrases is "performing inception".  Inception is one of my favorite movies and I love the idea of meticulously planning out the placement of an idea in someone else's head.  

That's basically what founders have to do when they fundraise, because you'll never be more successful with an investor who thought it was their brilliant idea to invest in your company, not yours.

Remember what we learned from the movie.  Ideas that stick well in other people's heads have to be simple, and they're better when based on positive emotions.  

Who invests is also important--these are people who want to make money, but also be seen investing in the "hot" companies.  Sometimes, just proving out a business model isn't enough.  

Are you creating a company that looks like something they'd be excited to share?

So what ideas are you trying to place in your next round investor's heads?  And how do you do it?

It has to be simple.  

If an investor had to believe one simple thing about the world that would eventually lead them to investing in your company, what would it be?

That very idea should be at the heart of all of your PR.

Is it that there is a lot of money to be made in your sector?  

Is it that your team is the best out there?

Is it that your business model rises above everything else or is really innovative?

Maybe you're the next obvious iteration of a model that works?

Customers need your product to live happy lives--perhaps that's it.

How many times can you repeat that, and where, and who can you get to repeat it for you?  What relationships does this VC have that can help reinforce the message?  Content you create, interviews, podcasts, speaking engagements, survey data you research and disseminate, events, engagement over social media...   VCs need to see your message time and time again. 

Founders should also be spending time in networks of other venture-backed founders--not only to learn, but to have their message and reputation echo back to other VCs.

"Have you met so-and-so?  They're really impressive."

Simplicity, consistency, repetition and pervasiveness.  That's how to get an idea to stick in a VC's head.