How to Win an Investment Fight That You Never Saw Coming

This article is written by Brian Malika, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Sam Mallikarjunan is the former head of growth at HubSpot Labs, he led the company’s marketing expansion into Latin America and oversaw the team that built a new market in e-commerce for the world’s #1 sales and marketing platform. The author of the book How To Sell Better Than Amazon, Sam is an adviser and consultant to companies all over the world. He currently leads, HubSpot’s new executive strategy publication. He was present at Startup Istanbul 2016 where he gave insight on customer experience.

The truth of that matter is that every time a start-up founder goes to pitch, the expect to win by turning the tables on their side. But equally, the investors who are listening to that pitch do put their best foot forward so that their business interests dominate the larger part of the final agreement. And that is business.

All that matters is that as all long as all the parties agree on the terms of agreement then all is fair.

So, today whether your an investor or start-up founder, we are going to discuss on ways that you can manipulate to ensure that you win an investment fight that you never saw coming in the first place.

It has always been said that the best way to secure the interests of big companies is investing in politicians and lobby groups. By doing so, big companies are confident that each and every new policy in their field would favor their operations. But the tides have started to change over the last decade whereby new technological innovations have been innovated and lead to completely new different ways of doing business.

For instance, ten years ago, if you traveled to a different country you would have to pay a secure and reputable tours and travel company that would get you a plane ticket, hotel accommodation and taxi pick up services once you land where your heading to. But today, you only get to your digital device and do all your travel bookings at no cost. You only need to access internet data.

Equally, a decade ago, if you wanted to capture moments then you would be forced to book an appointment with a photographer who would then charge you even for consultation fees. But today, you only need your smartphone and you get to take as many pictures as you want in all angles that you please and you can save the best pictures in the cloud so that you can access them forever at no charge.

Technological transformations are happening in almost every social sphere including the business world. This means that some businesses are going to be of no use as days pass on thereby presenting a battle for survival that was never anticipated by many entrepreneurs.

On that note, I have prepared two ideas that touch on how an investor, as well as a start-up founder, can switch their perception towards being accommodative to the first changing world of business. And those two ideas are as follows below  :

(1.) How A Start-up founder  should view the changing times

(2.) How an Investor should embrace the changing times

   (1.) How A Start-up founder  should view the changing times

Every start-up founder must be hungry, thirsty and curious regarding innovation. Never at one time should a start-up founder feel comfortable even if their innovative idea is on top of the game.

Today’s innovation is meaningless in the technology of tomorrow for any particular business. Therefore, if you invent a new idea that is game-changing, then you must keep asking yourself questions about what will happen if I innovate even further. And to be on the safer side, every start-up founder out there must see innovation as a continuous process that keeps bettering the customer process at various points in history.

Innovation never ends or stops just because you discovered some really unique way to production or solving life’s toughest problems.

One hack that can make you stay in business as a start-up founder is ensuring that you imagine ways of bettering the experiences of your customers from time to time. And the best way to do this is to keep a close tie with your target customers. Understand the needs and experiences of your target customers from time to time and this will ignite your passion to even innovate better ways of service delivery.

And please read and seek new knowledge from time to time in your area of business operations in order to learn new ways of functioning.

     (2.) How an Investor should embrace the changing times

To you the investor, whether your that individual that has extra money to invest in ideas or a big company that is continuously looking for start-up initiatives to work with, it’s important to note that the world of business is changing at a very fast pace.

On that note, I would advise every investor out there to not scout for start-up ideas that are promising to return the investment in lucrative ways and at the shortest time possible.

Remember that you can be making money today in a business that you invested in and then over a period of 24 hours, a new business emerges and kicks you out of business completely! This happens a lot in today’s world of business that is unpredictable. Therefore, I would encourage you as an investor to concentrate more on start-up innovative ideas that :

           •   Strive to solve tough problems in the world

           •   Have a team of founders that are flexible to the tune of changing business world.

           ▪  Lastly, investors should strive to invest in the ability of start-up founders to be able to understand customer problems better.

To you, the investor, in case you partners with a start-up that has game-changing innovations for your business, it’s considered best that such a start-up should be registered as a company then after which go for a deal that will see the formation of a merge between the two of you.

Avoid the idea of completely getting rid of your company as an investor and then embracing a new face every time there is a game-changing idea on your table. By sticking to your company name and existence while at the same time being receptive to change in the business world, you prove to your customers and the general public that your tough and dependable in the face of the ever-changing world.

Successful companies that have managed to survive the wind of technological change and innovations that are affecting businesses on a global scale have maintained the ability to form partnerships with emerging start-ups that present ideas that are relevant towards solving the world’s emerging tough problems. And you can join that movement of flexible investors and start-up founders that are forming partnerships to win investment fights that are not normally seen when coming.

─ September 20, 2019