This is the pitch deck that Wattage failed to raise capital with. In total they had raised an Angel of $200k from friends and family. Wattage was an online platform that makes creating hardware easy. Whilst they didn’t raise VC investment with this deck, it is quite pretty 😉
In fact as the founder put it:
“Now That’s A Beautiful Pitch Deck.” The one piece of consistent feedback we received throughout this entire process was how nice our pitch deck looked. We often joked that no matter what happened with Wattage, I could at least take a job building decks for others. Obviously its contents didn’t do much to help build a successful business, but I figured it might be worth sharing nonetheless. It didn’t exactly follow the standard pitch deck format, and it was also described as “nowhere near as crisp and focused as required.” But at least it looks nice, right? Sigh.
Why they failed
- Traction: An inability to show traction
- Creating a market: They were attempting to create an entirely new market for mass-customized electronics, which they originally viewed as something positive (as “we felt we could create and own this new market”).
- Investors don’t like unproven: Why would investors put large sums of money into a company going after an unproven market? (Hint: they don’t.)
- Validation is in the market but the technics: Being a hardware company, they focused on building prototypes to validate that our vision was technically feasible. In retrospect, instead, they should have released something far more lightweight, and as quickly as possible. Their efforts should have been focused on validating interest in the product and generating traction.
- Not Enough Focus: We had grand plans for the platform and we were only working on a small subset of features. But we should have been working on even fewer. “Instead of trying to build a platform for hardware creation, we should have focused on selling a single but highly-customizable product.”
- Bad funding planning: They attempted to raise too much, too soon. Instead of raising a large pre-launch seed round, they should have raised a smaller amount from angel investors.
- Vision: They didn’t tell a big enough story; this narrative wasn’t big enough. Investors want to hear a story about changing the world. Large ambitions, with a meaningful impact on the market, resulting in massive sales.
- Unproven theory on scaling production: concerns about the viability of scaling a bespoke hardware business
- Timing: Tech not there. “What we really needed was a hybrid of laser cutting and 3D printing, but unfortuately 3D printing is still far too slow and expensive to be realistic. I have no doubts that 3D printing will play a huge role in the future of manufacturing, but it simply isn’t there yet.”
Wattage is a new approach in building personal electronics. One that eliminates the complexity of building hardware, so anyone can create beautifully designed, internet-connected products with nothing more than a browser and their imagination. The core of their platform is a WebGL-based product builder that makes creating hardware as simple as drag & drop. Various components such as buttons, sensors, lights, speakers, or screens can be easily added to any surface and positioned wherever you like. The device can be made larger or smaller, and you can select from a number of materials for the enclosure.
Once complete, your virtual device is converted into a physical product. The parametrically-created enclosure is fabricated using a combination of laser cutters and 3D printers, and along with the various components, everything is packed and shipped, all for a reasonable price.
With Wattage, customers can build, share, or remix hardware products in a way that hasn’t been possible before.
“The vision for Wattage was a future where anyone could manipulate matter. Where we needn’t settle for the generic, mass-produced things that currently line store shelves. A future where we can easily upgrade our old devices instead of throwing them away. Or reprogramming them to do entirely new and useful things.
We wanted to make it so creating and selling hardware was as easy as writing and publishing a blog post. You shouldn’t need to be an electrical engineer or an industrial designer to create electronic devices. Nor should you have to worry about supply chain or distribution if you wanted to sell them. We believed it was possible to eliminate all of that complexity, so the average person could easily create highly customized hardware without any electronics know-how, all within their browser.”
Wattage Pitch Deck
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