LC013: How do you pitch a concept without a product?

launchpeer - June 13, 2018

Today’s question:

Today’s question comes from Leroy. Leroy’s questions has to do with how to pitch a product that doesn’t exist yet. How can you pitch from just an idea without a product or prototype to back it up?

Jake’s answer:

Having a finished product to pitch can feel so much better to pitch than something that’s just a concept or prototype. But even though it may feel better, it’s because you feel like the grass is greener on the other side. But pitching without a product can actually be a much better situation for you.

Flexibility + Feedback

When I’m pitching a product that doesn’t exist yet, I have the ability to change my pitch, the product itself, or any other number of variables as I receive feedback from potential investors or customers.

Even if they are telling me something I don’t want to hear, I can at least get that feedback early without having to go back and iterate on a final product. And honestly, you’ll get much more candid feedback when you pitch without a product because people know you are in a place to make changes – they won’t give you that type of feedback when you’ve put in a ton of time and money into creating the product.

How to pitch without a finished product

This actually depends quite a bit on who you are pitching to. The categories of potential people you are pitching to can include:

Potential customers

If the product is not what they need, then the conversation isn’t over if I don’t yet have a product. You can refine the product based on their feedback and the conversation can continue.


Pitching a finished product is easier to pitch to investors because you’ve shown them what you can do and you want them to fuel the engine not build it. If you don’t have the product, you have to have the same conversation about how much money you need to grow the company but you also have to convince them that the product is something that’s viable.

You want investors to fuel the engine, not build it. Click To Tweet

Friends, Family, Partners

For comfort, I’d rather have a finished product to pitch family and friends. As people who hear your ideas that you’re coming up with all of the time, you want to make sure you can show them that you believe in the idea and that it’s something you’re ready to make happen rather than just another idea that won’t go anywhere.

Do what it takes

Ideally, you’ll be able to put together a MVP before you go out and talk about your product, but the reality is that you need to do whatever necessary to just get started. Make sure your idea is something that you actually want to stick with (buy a domain, then sit on it for a few weeks to see if the idea still resonates strongly with you) and then start building it, ten blocks at a time.

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