Art of Message

Art of Message – June 25, 2023

When to skip the decorations

Startup people love to trot out the original Airbnb pitch deck (easy to Google) but my new favorite is from, sort of like Europe’s answer to OpenAI.

Aside from data sovereignty for EU firms, they want to innovate on the LaaM,  language model as a service. For example, AI sustainability innovation could come through small lean models that run on your normal laptop and have utility as assistants.

There are more interesting details, too.

But why am I telling you all this?

Because this “deck” is an impressive example of strategic messaging. It’s really just a word doc, too, and it has no graphics, design, infographics, or charts.

If it “cheats” (ie. uses something other than rhetorical skill to persuade) in any way, it’s by mentioning the list of wealthy and successful co-founders, such a ex-Meta/Llama types.

But you sort of have to do that to make an investment pitch deck work.

It’s also got a:

  • good story
  • a villain (OpenAI/Microsoft)
  • a big idea that’s inspiring
  • a set of entangled supporting ideas
  • a long-term plan for a position of advantage

In other words, it’s strategic. And without a single hero image.

In fact, nor is there a prototype behind it or even a line of code.

Yet just yesterday Mistral raised over 100 million, based on that text.

They really do need that money to lock in AI compute infrastructure too.

Will it work? No idea.

But here’s the takeaway: if the strategy and messaging is on point, sometimes it’s better to skip the decorations.

The message above comes from…
[convertkit form=5118201]

Art of Message archive