So much of the world of startups is about celebrating being wrong. Whole books, loads of whole books, have been written about the virtues of failure. Yet every founder I know has the hardest time admitting when they are wrong, because often what they are wrong about fundamentally underpins their business.
For your first ten employees as a founder, you not only have to be very clear on the why and the what, but you have to be comfortable occasionally venturing into the how too. You have the context of the entire company all in your head, but no one else can read your mind. So, for a bit, overcommunicate.
The investor hears it and at first they don’t believe you. “Nah,” they say, as they start to argue with you whether that’s the way the world really works. Then, after a beat or two, they go, “wait, you’re right.” And after another moment, they think “fuck, that’s the only way it can be.”
“That’s interesting” does not in any way, shape or form mean the person is excited about your company or wants to buy your product. All it means is they don’t want to be a dick. “That’s interesting” is what people say when they’re trying to be polite.
Think about the last time you tried to get into an exercise routine. Or consistently wake up earlier. Or quit smoking. None of those things are complicated, but all of them are hard to accomplish. We don’t fail at them because they’re complicated, we fail at them because we don’t prioritize them and think about them (let alone do them) on a daily basis.
Rapidly implementing investor feedback immediately builds an emotional tie between the investor and your company. Maybe they didn’t invest capital, but they invested an idea, and now their idea is a part of your idea.