There is one particular customer segment that often requests a quote for a pitch deck: productivity apps (my own app SlideMagic falls in this category).

  • A reasonably complex user interface
  • Taking on long established solutions (Microsoft Office, etc.)
  • Does not require a huge development investment (relatively to other startups)

In most cases, I advice these clients not to invest in a professionally designed pitch deck: the story is usually pretty clear ("PowerPoint is a pain, and we are going to end it") and investors could spot easily whether this is a VC-type investment (something where they can deploy a significant amount of capital and generate a big exit), by looking at the early customer traction numbers.

What can you do without a professional presentation designer:

  • Make a careful budget and see what sort of investor you need, when. If you have not found product market fit with stellar user engagement numbers, it might be too early to splash on customer acquisition, and it is better to continue to boots strap product improvements.
  • Rather than investing in the design of the presentation, invest in the design of the app, and make a killer demo: lots of nice screen shots with commentary, in an intuitive flow that show the magic of your creation.
  • Present a well-thought through budget and release pipeline, showing the stages of development work.
  • Invest a lot of time in understanding your early user base, which segment of your users get hooked, which not.

Image via WikiPedia