BEST OF 2019: 7 Innovation Tips from Silicon Valley Investors (1/3)

Silicon Valley investors see hundreds of startups every year, and work with only a few. What are they looking for? What advice do they give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Here are 7 brilliant, actionable innovation insights from our 2019 Game Thinking Investor series, where innovators learn how to discover, pitch and develop ideas into something that can attract investment.

HINT: the people here have something in common — something that NOT all investors share. Can you figure out what it is? We’ll reveal the answer next week, when we publish Part 2 of this three-part series.

Tip 1: If people are making fun of you, you’re probably doing something right

Tip 2: Networks effects can help you create durable businesses

Here’s James Currier of NFX breaking it down for us — and sharing an example of network effects in action in a two-sided marketplace.

Tip 3: Facts don’t change minds — emotions do

Siqi has developed some deep — and sometimes surprising — insights about persuasion and storytelling. Check out his advice on how to pitch.

Tip 4: Storytelling is your superpower

Tip 5: To stand out, lead with your weakness

Tip 6: Love your customers, not your idea

Tip 7: Gather data as early as you can — building as little as you can

So there you have it 7 powerful Innovation Tips from Silicon Valley investors.

Did you figure out what these investors have in common? Leave your guesses in the comments — and stay tuned for Part 2 , when I’ll reveal the answer and give everyone who guessed right a shout-out!

There’s so much gold here that can help you succeed — and that’s why we’ve made an Investor Tips Cheatsheet that’ll help you remember these tips & apply them to your work.


Game designer, startup coach, author, entrepreneur

Game designer, startup coach, author, entrepreneur