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The Insightful Optimist - Nº5

March 4 · Issue #5 · View online
The Insightful Optimist
Startups - "Pitch Decks"
Let’s face it, most startups, especially in the tech space need outside funding at some point. Whether you’re an early stage startup or a scale-up, raising money is part of the game. And for that, you’ll most likely need a pitch deck.
I’ve seen many pitch decks and worked on multiple myself, however my experience is mostly with seed, angel and series A investment levels.
So, what does a successful pitch deck consist of? Here’s a structure that has proven to work really well and that I use myself:
  1. Intro page: this is your company name, intriguing summary of what the company does and your branding (*in some cases you can include the amount you’re looking to raise here immediately as well, but this mostly is needed for angel investors I’ve noticed)
  2. Problem: list 3-5 problems your company recognised and is solving
  3. Product/Service: introduce your company’s product/service as the ultimate solution to these problems
  4. The Solution: list 3-5 ways your company proposes to solve them
  5. Timing: a few main reasons why is NOW the right time for your product. What are the trends in today’s world that make your product/service viable?
  6. How are you/will you be making money? A graph, timeline, chart or other ways to showcase how you’re going to make money. What are the ways you’re going to make money? Ads, subscription service, transactions? Make sure to include Lifetime Value (LVT) and Customer Aquisition Costs (CAC) if you can.
  7. Target Customers: what are your ideal customers/users? What do they look like? What is the demographic? Why are they turning to your product for a solution?
  8. Market Size: allow investors understand where your product/service stands and what the potential market is in the grand scheme of things
  9. Competitor Landscape: identify key attributes that are relevant for your market and place them on an X and Y axis to give an overview where you stand
Competitor Landscape graph example
Competitor Landscape graph example
10.Competitive Advantage: point out around 4 key areas where your product/service is better than the competition. What can you do better? How will you outperform them? How are you different?
11.The Team: this is often overlooked, but most invest heavily in the founding team, not only the product/services. What are the main team members and advisors? What’s their track record? What skillsets do they bring to the project?
12.The Roadmap: what are your plans in the next 1-2 years? This helps investors understand where the money is going to be used.
13.The Raise: how much are you actually asking for? What’s the pre-money valuation? Which funding round is this? Is there money committed already? Which departments will receive the money?
14.Contact Information: make it easy for them to book a meeting with you. Direct phone number, personal email address, website.
And that’s pretty much it. Make sure the pitch deck is concise, visual and has very little text. Get to the point quick, use numbers and examples and try putting yourself in an investors shoes.
Good luck!
Health - "Train Your Brain"
Training your body, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Bicep curls? Abs? Squatting for a nice booty? 🍑
We seem to be focused on training our visible body muscles, but we tend to ignore probably the most important part of our bodies: our brain.
⁣Our brain is an organ that improves massively thorough mental stimulation. It continuously adapts, grows & rewires itself through the growth of new neurons. ⁣
We seem to have accepted the fact that older people start experiencing memory loss and motor skills, which is heavily due to lack of brain exercise.
If you don’t use your legs, you’ll start struggling to run and even walk. The same is with the brain. We do so many things on autopilot that for us to ACTUALLY use our brains we need triggers and to challenge the brain, even if it’s the smallest things. ⁣
If you follow Jim Kwik you’ll already be familiar with the fact that the brain needs training the same way our body does & yet most of us don’t exercise both.⁣
So, what’s the easiest and simplest way to achieve brain training in our daily lives? Start with doing your daily tasks with your non-dominant hand.
This could include:
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Pouring a drink
  • Opening a jar
  • Turning book pages
  • Cleaning dishes
  • Blow-drying/brushing your hair
Essentially anything you think of that you usually do with your dominant hand by default.
What this does is creates stimulation for the brain, creates new neural connections and strengthens existing one’s.
⁣Once using your non-dominant hand becomes easy and feels natural, this means that your brain has adapted to this new and unnatural gesture, and new connections have been created.
⁣As you probably already know, the right hemisphere of the brain is linked to creativity. What’s quite interesting is that using the “wrong” hand stimulates both hemispheres of the brain, instead of stimulating only our dominant hemisphere, which is what happens when we use our dominant hand.⁣ And studies have shown that being able to use either hand to perform one task, as simple as brushing our teeth, makes us more spontaneous and creative, while reducing our inhibitions.⁣
⁣Things I have started doing to stimulate my brain:
  • Brushing my teeth and shaving with my non-dominant hand
  • Keep changing which shoe I tie on first
  • Learning a new language
  • Playing piano
Some of these things are super easy to do, but the benefits are substantial, so go on, tomorrow morning try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. Will it feel weird? Yes, Will you be better for it? Hell yes!
Basketball - "NFT's"
In this release I have to talk about NFT’s: Non-fungible tokens (or as I like to call them: “nifties”)
What are NFT’s you ask? Well, apparently you’re not the only one asking, just look at Google search trends since February this year:
Search trends for NFT's
Search trends for NFT's
In the simplest way I can explain it is this:
It is an asset that you or somebody else holds that is unique. “Uniqueness” can be relative and can be separated by limited supply, serial number, signature or anything else that makes it one of a kind. Think artwork, trading cards, limited edition basketball shoes etc. It can pretty much by anything, as long as it’s value is not stardardised (e.g. a £5 note that I hold has the same value as your £5 note that you hold, always, which makes it a fungible asset).
Now what an NFT does is it turns them digital, or “tokenises” them. This opens up almost limitless opportunities to what an NFT could be, because it can be both a physical and a digital asset. However, because your ownership of that asset is based on holding a token with a unique serial number and hosted on Blockchain, that means your asset cannot be counterfeited, divided or manipulated in any other way. What this means is through NFT’s you’re eliminating fakes, scarcity, the black market as well as increasing profits for artists, making it easier to become an artist and many other advantages.
So, in NBA’s case, they have already made use of NFT’s by backing NBA Top Shot: an NBA highlight marketplace, allowing people to buy and own highlights. Yes, your read that correctly.
You can literally go and buy a moment in an NBA game, so you can then say to your friends when re-watching a playoff game that you actually “own” that particular highlight, be it a dunk, a made shot, a block etc.
NBA Top Shot

This is 1️⃣ of 4️⃣9️⃣ LeBron James Moments that can ever be minted in our Cosmic packs. Scooped up by user rapid_goji_berry2079 via the #NBATopShot marketplace 📈

Start collecting Moments like these before the beta opens! 🏀⛓
Recently, a LeBron James highlight sold for $200,000 while a Zion Williamson spotlight sold for around the same amount.
Personally, I don’t fully understand the value of this but hey, whatever rides your boat!
Having said that, NFT’s have a very bright future as we already see celebrities adding additional value to their NFT’s, like having voting rights in their decision making and getting exclusive access to the celebrity’s events.
Gaming is going to have a huge impact on this too. Imagine playing NBA 2K and you are the only one in the whole world who can play with a speficic basketball, or have your players wear specific accessories.
This is only the start and the new digital revolution is already here, so make sure you don’t get left out and become part of it. It’s super fun!
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