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.