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What Bugs Bunny has to do with Startups

As a kid my favourite cartoon scene was Bugs Bunny running off a cliff, legs frantically whirring while he goes nowhere, till suddenly he realises he’s no longer on terra firma, and only then plummets to the ground.

We got asked in to help recover a startup recently.  Nice big industrial unit, staff of a dozen or so, just reaching the last of around £1.5m of funding.  “Maybe you can help us refine our investment presentation”.

Sure we can do that.  So, let’s understand what’s really special about your product?  Observe boardroom equivalent of Brownian Motion.  Uh-oh.  So, which markets need this?  Hmm.  Answer to Q1 an input condition to Q2.  This is where Bugs Bunny looks back over his shoulder at the cliff.

In fact, all the investment had gone in on the intuition that this was a great idea, but no-one had ever really checked it out properly.  When the money ran out and the results weren’t quite there yet, investors looked to see what sort of ground they were really standing on.  And only then did they notice no-one knew.

This is, of course, traditionally where Bugs stares in panic at the kids laughing on the lounge floor, and is whipped downward off the screen.  It looks in this case like we might be able to put a trampoline under him in the nick of time, but it’s a nail biter as I write.  If we can get him running again though, he’ll know what the ground under him is this time.

That’s all folks…