It's a well known fact to anyone who has ever read their kids, nieces or nephews a bedtime story that Trolls typically have poor sleeping patterns, with lots of late nights and late starts. Which means that the very best time to use Twitter, particularly on a Sunday, is between the hours of 6am and 8am. The best people are up, about and engaging online, whilst the Trolls sleep soundly in their hovels.
Before 8am this morning I had an entertaining interaction with Vishal Gulati, a very high profile Health Tech Venture Capitalist from Draper Esprit. He'd shared the below piece from the FT and said he gives, and I quote, "zero f**ks" what entrepreneurs wear to pitches. Having had some exposure to the VC environment in my career, I can say that this is a far cry from the days of the early 2000s when I'd sat nervously in a meeting room of the IoD to meet 3i, Europe's largest VC at the time, and fretted nervously about my choice of tie.
It got me thinking about the need for communicators to project the right image to their stakeholders, particularly at important moments - in presentations to potential investors, in a talk at a trade show or conference, in front of your whole company at an off-site, to media at a profile for one of your execs or clients. There are invariably numerous opportunities when you're presenting to important stakeholders and you need to convey the right image.
John Brown, our Global Head of Engagement, has already written far more eloquently than me on his blog about the need for agency types to up their sartorial game, to project the right image to prospective employees, and given the the choice I'd rather read his post than mine. But this piece from the FT and Vishal's comments made me think that the world in 2017 is definitely a less formal one than it was in the early noughties. But thinking carefully about the image you project to all of your key different audiences, and when, is important. And, as I said to Vishal on Twitter, " if I was going to ask someone for hundreds of thousands of pounds in investment, the least I could do I put on an ironed shirt". And then at least I couldn't be trolled for my choice of tailor.
How do entrepreneurs dress when pitching start-ups to investors? It seems like a trivial question, but experts and those who have done it say sartorial codes matter — and there are pitfalls. Founders tread a fine line: they must give the right impression to those with the money their businesses need, but they must also reflect their vision. The key, they say, is knowing your audience — a suit may not always be appropriate.