Demo Days are a cute waste of time
A Demo Day is about intentionally overselling something too soon or too late to a colluding audience who will invite you to… Keep in touch.
Acceleration programs are supposed to allow startups to achieve more milestones, at a faster pace and with a better learning curve than they naturally would. And this is great.
That being said, none of the startups are at the same stage when entering a program, and they won’t reach an equal stage at the end of the period either. Actually, most of you won’t be ready to pitch, to raise funds or even to catch the attention of partners and medias.
Your only focus is product and customers
If Demo Days are so overrated, then why almost every accelerator has them? My guess is that it’s convenient and the fastest way to gather all attention at once on a batch of startups.
But truth be told, it’s also and unfortunately the worst way to do business. It’s like reaching out to your whole contact list on new year’s eve with a single message. You will eventually reconnect with some of them, randomly, but the overall output of this action is pretty poor.
Entrepreneur, you must understand that a demo day is nothing more than a live pitch training where only a few people will tell you the truth about what they thought of your performance, while investors will intentionally avoid to answer with a pretty common “it was interesting”. The rest of the crew will tell you it was great.
And yes, your mom will be proud…
A demo day is not a step or a milestone. The audience is probably not your target. It’s a good opportunity for you to take a look back at what you’re doing, to ask yourself some good questions, and of course to become better at pitching your stuff.
But if you expect funding or any specific attention afterwards, you will be disappointed. Demo day is a great soufflé. So if you really want or have to do it, make it fuckin’ memorable! Give the audience something it does not expect to hear.