Overhead: "We completed this extensive business plan for our startup 3 months ago. Check! It is a lot of work, but hey potential investors want it, so we churned it out."

Here is what investors really want:
  1. A good visual presentation that helps them understand your business quickly 
  2. A company that knows what it is doing, has a clear plan going forward
  3. More detailed data/information after 1. has been digested
None of these require a long, text-loaded document. Text is the worst way to deliver 1., the exciting investor presentation. And text is not the best vehicle to deliver 2. and 3.

There is a reason why management consulting reports are written in PowerPoint, in a style that is somewhere in between the Steve-Job-style-keynote and the densely written marketing text book.
  • Business issues/strategy can best be communicated/discussed using a visual language: it is about data, relationships, positioning, pros and cons, time lines. Diagrams (even poorly designed ones) do a much better job than a dense paragraph of text
  • Things change all the time, and text is hard to change. Swapping the flow of a story, adding a piece of information, updating the market shares. "We did this business plan in September, but it is already out of date (December)." A document in PowerPoint is easy to change and update.
  • PowerPoint document can be navigated quickly. It is easy to browse through sections, zoom in, zoom out.
  • It is very hard/time-consuming to get the exact wording of something right, especially to agree something among a group of people with different styles. In PowerPoint you cut words, leaving less room for lengthy editorial discussions
  • Most business documents are written in English, most people who write them are not native in this language. For a non-native speaker, it is hard to write a good proper long-hand text in 100% good English (native-speakers probably have spotted this in this blog). Most people can reach 80% correct English, and in PowerPoint you get away with it.
In short, save yourself the time of writing that verbose business plan.

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