I love the idea of Magic Leap and wish them every success in the world. Who wouldn’t want to see whales leaping out of floors like the one in the picture above?
I also don’t have any inside information about how they’re doing. But I have noted that some in the press are questioning their prospects, alleging that their videos are in effect fakes (including the one from which the still above was taken).
One of the articles I read, finished with a list of tell-tale signs that indicate a company is long on vision, but short on execution (or in this case real tech):
- Refusing to give a launch date.
- Refusing to talk about the tech, claiming confidentiality or trade secrets.
- Using news of investments or hires as evidence of technological progress.
- Promoting itself on a big stage rather than in a small room.
- Offering a well-crafted message and vision but becoming immediately vague when pushed on actual details.
- Offering “exclusive access” – with restrictions.
- Confusing working hard with making progress.
I offer this list up because some of you will be writing investment decks over the holidays to start fundraising in the New Year and if that’s you, these are mistakes you want to avoid making. At the early stages at which Forward Partners invest, the most common mistakes on this list are being strong on the vision but weak on the details (particularly the short term plan) and assuming time spent on a project equates with progress.
In essence, make sure that when preparing to pitch for funding you have an inspiring big vision, but also ensure the picture you paint is underpinned with a strong plan for execution.