Tag Archives: Writing

Me vs. ChatGPT: Who’s a Better Blogger?

ChatGPT, the hot new tool from OpenAI, excels at writing. So is it time for me to pawn my laptop and ride off into the sunset?


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Today, I decided to see who’s the better writer, me or ChatGPT.

Let’s take a post I wrote about the 6 essential elements of a startup pitch. Could ChatGPT come up with something better?

You be the judge….

My post from April 2022:

Last Thursday, I was preparing to judge a startup pitch competition. I thought to myself, “How can I make sure every startup hits the key points?”

Then, it came to me: a checklist!

Every time you pitch investors, you need to give them certain key pieces of information. Without those details, they may just move on to the next company.

Make sure that never happens to your business! Whenever you pitch, make sure you check off these 6 key elements:

1)  Problem. What problem do you solve? For example, Uber solved the problem of expensive, hard to get taxi rides.

2)  Solution. How do you solve that problem?

Uber makes it easy to get a ride with a simple smartphone app. You always know exactly what you’re paying and where your driver is.

3)  Traction. Show us a chart of your revenue, broken down monthly or quarterly. Also, compute a growth rate using a tool like this.

Investors want to see a strong growth trend. Make absolutely sure you give them that, if at all possible.

Don’t have revenue yet? Show us monthly active users, signups, etc.

4)  Market + Competitors. How big is your market? Who do you compete with?

I don’t get too hung up on complicated market size calculations, but here is a resource on how that is typically done.

I’m more interested in your competitors. Who do you lose deals to? Who do you beat for deals? And why?

Hint: “we don’t have any competitors” is rarely the right answer. Maybe no company does exactly what you do, but who is close?

5)  Team. This is especially critical for early stage startups. At this point, there usually isn’t a ton of performance to sell.

So you have to emphasize the quality of the team. Why are these the best possible people to take on this challenge?

6)  Ask. Here’s one of the strangest things I see: a founder telling a great story with solid traction, and then saying “thank you” and sitting down.

Umm, don’t you want something from us? 

Never forget to tell the investors exactly what you’re asking for! Tell us how much you’re raising, at what valuation, and specify if that’s pre or post-money. (If the valuation includes the money you’re raising, that’s “$X post-money,” also referred to as “$X cap.”)

It’s also good to specify what type of fundraise you’re doing. Is it a SAFE, a priced round, or a convertible note?

Say something like this: “We are raising a $1 million SAFE at a $10 million cap.”

If you hit these 6 key elements, you’ll have a solid pitch that gives investors the details they need. You’ll also have a leg-up on other founders who provide incomplete or unhelpful information.

Best of luck on your fundraise!

Next, I asked ChatGPT to write an article on the same topic:

Here is its answer:

Raising money for a startup can be a daunting task, but having a solid fundraising pitch can make the process a lot smoother. Here is a checklist of items to include in your pitch to give investors a clear understanding of your business and why it’s worth their investment:

  1. Problem: Clearly articulate the problem your business is solving and why it’s important.
  2. Solution: Explain how your product or service addresses the problem and how it’s different from other solutions on the market.
  3. Market size: Provide data on the size of the market you’re targeting and how you plan to capture a share of it.
  4. Traction: Share any traction your business has already gained, such as customer testimonials, partnerships, or revenue.
  5. Team: Introduce the team behind the business and highlight their relevant experience and qualifications.
  6. Business model: Explain how the business will make money and provide financial projections.
  7. Use of funds: Clearly outline how the funds will be used, such as product development, marketing, or hiring.
  8. Ask: End your pitch by clearly stating the amount of funding you’re seeking and the terms of the investment.
  9. Bonus: Show a clear path to exit and give an idea of what investors can expect to gain from the business.

By including these items in your pitch, you’ll be able to give investors a comprehensive understanding of your business and why it’s worth investing in. Remember to keep your pitch clear, concise, and visually engaging.

A strong pitch will also demonstrate that you understand your market, your customers, and your competition. It will also show that you have a clear vision, a solid team, a scalable business model and a sound plan for using the funds.

What strikes me most is how similar they are! 

ChatGPT included all 6 of the items on my checklist. It also added 3 more.

For the most part, I think ChatGPT’s answer is excellent. Clearly stating a problem, showing how you solve it, and showing your traction are critical.

But at certain points, ChatGPT gets sidetracked. It suggests showing projections, which most investors discount pretty quickly. 

It also tells us to show how the company will exit. This is wildly premature for most startups.

An exit is often 10 years off or more. There’s no telling how it will shake out.

What’s more, a founder who’s too focused on an exit is a red flag to investors. 

Are they just looking for a quick win by flipping the company to Big Tech? If so, this will only be a small outcome for the VC’s.

Also, ChatGPT doesn’t provide examples. Examples are helpful in knowing how to frame a problem simply or how to describe the terms of your fundraise.

Moreover, ChatGPT lacks a personal tone. I describe experiences meeting actual founders, which a computer program can’t do.

Sometimes, you want a little of that human touch!

In all, ChatGPT’s writing was surprisingly good. But I think it has a way to go before it puts me out of business. 🙂

Which post did you like better, mine or ChatGPT’s, and why?

Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

THE STARTUP PITCH CHECKLIST

VC FUNDING DOWN 67% IN DECEMBER

HOW STARTUPS CHANGE LIVES

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Talking About Today’s Startup Market on The Accelerator Podcast

I had the pleasure of chatting with angel investor Michael Conniff on his The Accelerator podcast recently! We talk about how to find a great startup to invest in, some of my recent investments, and the robot pizza future.

I’ve provided some links to key parts below. Enjoy!

3:28: What I look for in a startup

4:50: The technique for judging startups quickly that I learned from Jason Calacanis

6:31: Why I like SaaS

7:00: Problems with D2C companies

9:00: Why I invested in VADE, which is changing parking forever

13:29: My recent investment in Fathom, which is letting us search podcasts the way we do text

15:52: Why I invested in Capbase, the best way to start your start-up

19:17: Will robots make our pizza in the future? 🍕

22:35: Why I started this blog

25:06: What sectors I invest in

What did you like about the podcast? What did we miss?

And would you like to see more podcast content like this? Leave a comment at the bottom and let me know!

More on tech:

Talking Startups and Today’s Fundraising Pullback

Why Investors BS You

Robot Pizzas and the Future of Fast Food

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 with great returns.

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Startups’ Secret Marketing Weapon: Blogging

For startups, customer acquisition ain’t what it used to be.

Apple effectively ended ad targeting last year. Google plans to do something similar in 2023.

Without targeting, you could be advertising a US woman’s underwear brand to men in Germany. Those precious marketing dollars go…poof.

But some startups have found a secret weapon. Hint: you’re reading one right now.

Blogging for Customer Acquisition

Every day, your potential customers are searching Google to find solutions to their problems. You can help solve their immediate problem, while subtly directing them toward your service.

Let’s look at a startup with an excellent blog: Capbase. (I’m a small investor in the company.)

Capbase makes software to incorporate, manage your cap table (list of company owners), handle employee stock options and a lot more.


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Capbase’s potential customer may be a new founder who isn’t sure how to get started. How do I incorporate, or pitch investors?

So the company wrote an excellent article on the do’s and don’ts of investor pitches. This helps solve a problem a new founder is likely to have.

At the same time, Capbase subtly introduces them to its software. This platform can solve the problems they’ll have in the near future, like incorporating and issuing stock options.

Keeping it Fresh

Notice that Capbase doesn’t just have a bunch of text posts by a single author. It has a mix of authors with different perspectives, and even includes podcasts to keep things interesting.

So how can you come up with topics?

Think about problems your potential customers might be having. You can even interview current customers to find out.

Or if your startup is solving a problem you’ve had yourself, draw inspiration from your own life!

Evergreen topics are best. Provide content that will be useful years from now, rather than topical commentary that will be outdated in days.

This helps you capture traffic in the long term.

Keeping it Consistent

You should publish articles on the same days, regularly. If every day is too much, try Tuesday and Thursday, for example.

The key is consistent new content.

Readers like it. So do Google search algorithms.

Wrap Up

Online ads are not as well targeted as they once were, and are only likely to get worse. Meanwhile, a search shows user intent.

If I search “how to pitch investors,” I’m probably a startup founder at the early stage. So, I’m an ideal Capbase customer.

If I search “how to meditate,” I’m already interested in meditation. Perfect time for an app like Calm to slide in and give me some tips, while also making me aware of their product.

A company blog can deliver more customers than online ads while costing far less. Master it and stop handing your money to trillion dollar corporations that provide little in return.


Do you have a company blog?

If so, what have you learned from writing it? If not, why not?

Let me know in the comments at the bottom!

More on tech:

How to Write a Deal Memo

How to Ace a 3 Minute Pitch

The Lean Startup

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Photo: “Kendra” by c.a.s.e.y is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been great so far.

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