The Napkin Test- A pitch so simple, it could be on the back of a napkin

The Napkin Test- A pitch so simple, it could be on the back of a napkin


We had a client involved in pioneering some really cool space technology, with impressive credentials and a history of successfully launching rockets into space. A team quite literally putting data centers on the moon.

Design aside, their pitch lacked the incremental story arc to not just understand the technology’s capabilities, but to answer the knee jerk questions of “Why the moon? Why now? Why you?” Most importantly, “Why should I give you a bunch of money?”

It left the audience with a superficial reaction: “Cool, sounds interesting.” Or, even worse, “You sound really smart and accomplished, but I don’t understand what the point is. Pass.”

They needed to convey why their project was not just a sci-fi enthusiast’s dream but a pressing, relevant innovation. It was great that they were impressive technical geniuses, but that alone wasn’t going to dazzle an investor into throwing money at them. Rather than blowing them away with impressive details, they needed to reach for simplicity instead.

To bridge this gap, we did a deeper analysis of who they were speaking to and what specific doubts or questions these audiences had. We got back to basics: first understanding the core story, then aligning it with what the audience needs to know, and finally, presenting it in a way that is both engaging and easy to understand.

Here’s the basic pitch:

      • Information on the internet is already sent from data centers to satellites in space and then back to your phone or device
      • Data centers on earth are already expensive and sensitive to attack
      • The moon is the largest natural satellite, and we’re currently not using its potential
      • It has no weather (or atmosphere) and needs no external cooling costs
      • It’s an upfront investment but has long-term gains
      • We have the right experience to make this happen now
      • Whoever moves first has a massive advantage
      • You need to invest in us now

Now, after this pitch, we can dig into highly technical questions all day if we want – but they aren’t the point. The point of the pitch, as you can see here, is “Why does this matter to me, now?”

This approach is not just about making your presentations or pitches more visually appealing; it’s about ensuring that your innovative ideas are communicated effectively, leading to successful funding and real-world impact. We’re not in the business of moving stickers around on F1 cars. We want to get our hands on the motor.

Once you go through the hard work of figuring all that out, you really don’t need the fancy deck anymore (that’s a nice bonus, though).

You could just write it down on the back of a napkin and get funded.