Tag Archives: Idea maze

Uber’s first pitch deck

Uber is currently the highest valued private tech company in the world. So when one of its co-founders shares the company’s first pitch deck, people take notice. Here’s the post, which includes the deck, that Uber co-founder Garrett Camp shared last week.

Over the last week, I had several conversations with entrepreneurs and investors about takeaways from the deck. Most of these conversations focused on how the Uber founders’ forecasted best case outcome was for a business with $1B+ in annual revenue. The company had $6.5B in net revenue in 2016, so even the founders underestimated the scale of the business that they were about to build.

My key takeaways from the deck are the following:

  1. It’s tempting to state that the success of a category defining company was always a foregone conclusion. Uber’s presentation shows that even its founders didn’t foresee the scale of the company’s success. They just had a vision and put their heads down to work hard towards it.
  2. While the founders of great companies don’t know the exact steps that they will take to succeed, they have a very deep understanding of their initial differentiation points, the possibilities that are likely to emerge down the road, and the actions that they are likely to take when faced with these possibilities. This deep understanding which results from having thought at length about what is often a personal problem is referred to as the idea maze. Uber’s presentation has a lot of substance, and this reflects the founders’ immersion in the idea maze.
  3. While Uber’s presentation has a lot of substance, it isn’t well designed. This reinforces my belief that better Powerpoint presentations are correlated with better companies and products only up to a certain point. If a Powerpoint looks too good, that’s a signal that the company isn’t spending its time on what matters.