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Mic Check Vol. 20: Enough talking, let's go pitch
Make a killer Rhetoric and win 3 free months with a developer of your choice. Let's do this.
If you participated in our pitch competition, Podium, last winter, you'll be excited to hear that there's another chance for you to pitch your startup in Rhetoric this November. This time, the prize is three free months with a full-time senior software developer. You can sign up and get application instructions here.
The unique thing about this pitch competition is that it's judged by developers, not VCs. It's an interesting exercise for founders. While all of us have likely worked hard on crafting our startup's story, we've probably done so primarily with an investor audience in mind.
What happens when our audience becomes the engineers who will be tasked with building our products? What holes will they see in our plans? Which value propositions will pique their interest? These questions typically don't come to mind until we're having hiring conversations with potential employees, but there's a good argument for crafting your story for a developer audience earlier.
There are two primary reasons for this:
Developers have seen under the hood of more successful (and failed) startups than perhaps any other profession.
Any practice you can get rooting yourself in a specific audience, regardless of who they are, is an excellent way to build your storytelling muscle.
Whether you win or not, all applicants will receive feedback from a panel of senior developers. If you want to get a sense of how your startup will be received by devs, this is a great opportunity.
Raman at Rhetoric
📚 Open tabs
What team Rhetoric is reading during those awkwardly-timed few minutes between Zooms.
Arnav's Rhetoric Talk on B2B fundraising best practices is filled with great advice for founders in the fundraising mindset, including the attributes investors look for in companies, key metrics that matter most, and the mistakes to avoid.
George Saunders is, by all accounts, the king of the short story. While you could enroll in Syracuse University to learn from him, this article on his less-is-more secrets should scratch the itch—and is incredibly relevant to general communication and speaking, too.
Steve Blank gives us a front-row seat into a 100-year-old company's decision to pivot and the internal tumult (but the good kind) that followed. Well worth a read: A Simple Map for Innovation at Scale.
✨ New ways to present better
Here's what's going on at Rhetoric this week:
Now live: bring your audience back or create some anticipation with a full-screen video between slides.
Have a feature idea you want to see in Rhetoric? Add it to our public roadmap!