Panda Mating – More on the The Demo

I got a great email from a reader in Europe in response to my The Demo post that said “Here in Europe we VCs refer to the practice of introducing portfolio companies as ‘Panda Mating’. It should work, there is a logical fit but somehow even if they do mate they very rarely conceive.”  Panda Mating is a great metaphor, although I generally have better success with partnerships between portfolio companies as long as they are more than a Barney deal.

I also got a question from another reader asking me to define “top down vs. bottom up” demo.  I much prefer “top down” demos – these are ones that approach the demo from a user / use case perspective.  Show me what the software does and why I care, not how it does it.  So, rather than start at the top left menu choice and go through each feature (usually starting with “creating a new account” which I never have to see again in my entire life), walk me through a use case that is relevant to me and is populated with a complete and interesting data set.  Occasionally, I’ll have a “how” type question, but then it’ll be in the context of a use case, rather than a technical feature.

  • Peter

    I just have to say, “what entrepreneur (or assigned flunkee), who was worth at least his/her weight in Iraqi Dinar, would be so obtuse as to begin a show-and-tell product-demo with a ‘create acct’ scenario?” (or any non-value-added brainless task that one’s software does?)

    Is there any excuse for a bottom-up demo unless only a bottom-up can appropriately address what your business/app is attempting to accomplish?

    It’s not the end of the world, but I do wonder how some companies get funded. This is not MBA-type stuff here – this is just common sense. Show me how your company adds value – period. Don’t waste my time with nonsense. It’s really very simple.

    Is it really possible that the person giving the demo mistook their _audience_ for the complete flunkies? I mean, why don’t you break out the full-featured browser tutorial next time? Or maybe ask the attendees to pre-read and study ‘Internet for Dummies’ before you all meet-up?

    I can hardly imagine my engineering prof’s face if I went to his office with something like, “well, i was kinda lookin at this foo…” – he would have just glared and I would have known instantly that I’d just wasted 5 seconds of his precious time. My only recourse would be to then stop treating him like a child and actually tell him what the purpose of my visit was.

    Too funny.