The Purpose of Numbers on a Y Axis

Every day I get a fresh pile of emails containing executive summaries and powerpoint presentations (keep them coming by the way) inquiring whether I’d be interested in exploring an investment.  I try to quickly look at them all and decide immediately whether or not I want to spend any time considering investing in the business.

There is an endless list of nitpicky things I could suggest that would improve these executive summaries and powerpoint presentations.  I’ll spare you those.  There is also an endless list of substantive things I could suggest.  For example, what is wrong with the following graph?


Um.  Not useful.  I got that you’ve had relative growth but you are missing the numbers on the y-axis.  If you think I’m a total buckethead, you’d assume I’d be impressed by this growth.  However, my first question is “so, what is the 2007 revenue?”  I looked at the next few pages in the presentation and it was nowhere to be found.

If you trust me (or are interested in me) enough to send me a ppt unsolicited, please at least give me the real quantitative data for me to react to – assuming you think it’s an important part of your presentation.  If it’s not an important part of your presentation (e.g. tiny numbers so far – nice yoy % growth, but tiny numbers) don’t include it!

At least I got a blog post out of this one.