If It Can't Be Said In One Sentence, It's Not Clear

The most important thing I’ve learned in my 2.5 years since starting Pristine is the power of clarity. Looking back, it blows my mind how unclear I was with all of our stakeholders - employees, customers, and investors - and even myself in my first year.

I see a similar lack of clarity when I speak with super-early stage first time founders. There’s a simple litmus test to determine clarity:

If it can’t be said in one sentence, it’s not clear.

So my advice to early stage entrepreneurs is to have a one sentence answer to all of the following questions:

  1. Besides raising capital, what are the 3 most important things that you need to accomplish in the next 6 months?
  2. What are are the ideal strengths of your first 5 employees?
  3. Based on the amount of capital you want to raise and assuming no revenue, how much runway do you have?
  4. Are you default alive, or default dead?
  5. What does your business do?
  6. Why does your business exist?
  7. Why are you going to be better than the next best alternative?
  8. Why won’t the next best alternative copy and kill you?
  9. How big is the market? Please provide a bottoms-up analysis.