Be Clear – Be Unconventional

How a 1-man cat-drawing startup won a Mark Cuban investment
Of all the craziest things for Mark Cuban to invest in, a one-man startup consisting of a horrible dancer who sits at his kitchen table drawing kindergarten-style pictures of cats must be at the top o…

I loved this story about Steve Gadlin, a guy who draws cats by hand, and sells/mails them each for $10. Silly, right? Well, silly enough that billionaire Mark Cuban invested $25,000 in the guy.

There’s a lot of really great information in the article by John Koetsier in Venture Beat. But what I really loved was the pitch he made to the ABC show “Shark Tank” in order to be able to present his idea to Cuban, et. al.:

“Gadlin’s pitch to get on the show was “a two-sentence email consisting of ‘I draw stick-figure pictures of cats and sell them for ten bucks apiece … let me at ‘em.’” The typically Gadlin-esque low pressure, almost lackadaisical approach worked: a few months later he was invited out to LA to present his business to the panel of sharks on camera.”

While certainly not everyone could pull that off – the clarity of offering, and brevity of the pitch is something we all can learn from.

Also, the article describes how Gadlin was willing to be unconventional (and persistent) in his efforts to make a splash. He offered a deal on Groupon that took months to set-up. He stuck with it though, and the offering went viral.

Now a guy who draws cats has virtually no capital risk, no significant expense structure. Most of us do. But don’t let that stop you from thinking about your own products/business in this distilled sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.