Don't do this if you want to get attention from someone important
- Don’t contact them indirectly: they may not know the intermediary person well enough. This makes it awkward for everyone involved. It also makes you come across as not confident.
- Don’t spam: it’s annoying and comes across as desperate.
- Don’t apologize about the message: it suggests a lack of confidence.
- Don’t guess the email/contact information: you may end up emailing the wrong person in the process. It makes you look annoying and desperate.
- Don’t ask for an NDA: you’re not pitching your idea, you’re pitching your ability to execute the idea. VCs don’t have any reasons for signing NDAs.1
- Don’t be vague: makes it look like you haven’t thought deeply enough, or you’re being unnescessarily paranoid. Also, you may need more details to sell what you’re selling.
- Don’t be rude: just don’t bro.
- Don’t insist: If you got a negative answer, there is probably a reason. Insisting will likely just worsen your relationship.
From Feld Thoughts:
“Before you even start addressing the hard stuff, never ask a venture capitalist to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). They never do. This is because at any given moment, they are looking at three or four similar deals. They’re not about to create legal issues because they sign a NDA and then fund another, similar company–thereby making the paranoid entrepreneur believe the venture capitalist stole his idea. If you even ask them to sign one, you might as well tattoo “I’m clueless!” on your forehead.”↩