David Bailey, a serial entrepreneur, partner at London’s venture capital fund Downing Ventures, and a mentor at Google’s accelerator, speaks on how to convey the idea of uniqueness, success, and competitiveness of your product.
Previously, I did not take the term “vision” seriously. For me, it was associated with campfires, guitar songs and light hallucinogens. Honestly, it was not entirely clear to me what a strategic business vision should look like. Then I started investing in start-ups and found myself asking their founders to give me their “vision of the future.” I wanted to take their ideas close to heart as well as they do themselves. But I needed something more than abstract sketches.
What makes a vision more convincing?
It is obvious that the vision should concern promising products that would bring good money and benefit people. However, having heard someone else’s “vision”, I have noticed that the vision of real professionals is always somewhat different.
Prominent businessmen say it so that it seems to be the only true one. How do they do it?
Trends and turning points
We may guess that the unique strategists of, say, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk can look into the future, like a fortuneteller in a crystal ball. However, in reality they track global trends and extrapolate them for five years. When you hear how they speak about their vision, you are convinced with their logic, not with a prophetic gift at all.
To have your own vision, you do not have to be a fortuneteller. You just need to connect modern technology, economic and consumer trends with the future needs of customers.
Considering that these trends can be observed over many years and decades, the next question is “why now?”. The best answer to the question “why now?” It is not trends in a ten-year progression, but a recent turning point in a technological, regulatory or competitive environment that has allowed you to succeed where previous attempts failed. For example, it was impossible to come up with Uber earlier than smartphones with GPS appeared.
Why vision is important
The opportunity to look into the future is something amazing. Trends and turning points provide a solid foundation for your vision in today’s reality. It’s also useful to research trends — it helps to see prospects and set directions for your business. Share your vision with investors, the work team, potential clients and other interested parties so that they look to the future with the same optimism as you. Perhaps the success of your company will become as obvious to others as it is to you.