Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Did You Get Screwed in Business

This is a true story. I was there. The details are possibly not exact, and the quotes are paraphrased, but the essentials are true.  A startup founder was pitching to 22 local investors. The group had asked him to pitch because we liked his summary materials. He was local to us and had an interesting product. But he got screwed. I got screwed

This is what happened

Normally, after every pitch, after the founder has left and we’re alone, the group takes time to discuss what we saw and heard. In this case, the room was quiet for a few seconds. Then one of us said:

“One thing we know for sure … if we invest in that guy, he’ll be blaming us for it later.”

Everybody laughed.

He didn’t get the investment from us. Do you know why not?

This is what reminded me

This morning I saw this question in Quora, the world’s best question and answer site.

Every time I’ve gone into business, I’ve gotten screwed badly, either by partners or by customers. How do I avoid this the next time around?”

I’m answering here first.

  • He didn’t get screwed. He screwed himself.

    • Thanks Keith. Yes, exactly my point. It’s a lot like what happens when somebody interviewing for a new job bad mouths past jobs. They don’t realize the effect they have on the listener. IMO.