“Altman saw Chesky’s pitch deck and told him it was perfect, except that he needed to change the market-size slide from a modest $30 million to $30 billion. “Investors want B’s, baby,” Altman told Chesky. Of course, Altman wasn’t telling Chesky to lie; rather, he argued that if the Airbnb team truly believed in their own assumptions, $30 million was a gross underestimate, and they should use a number that was true to their convictions. As it turns out, Airbnb’s market was indeed closer to $30 billion.”
Excerpt From: Reid Hoffman. “Blitzscaling”. Apple Books.
throughout 2001 and 2002 the most difficult thing to pitch about my online video startup was the market size. I had this idea of internet becoming the newsgathering platform and later a place where all creators would publish their videos, I was 100% on open publishing but my company, in the first bust, was pitched as a pro channel for news and I struggled to size the potential market via jobbing the numbers of news agencies and tv networks. Which came in the 30 millions rather than 30 billions (or rather in phantasy number deducted from cloudy market data, while I could have better guessed billions from the “attention industry” even not getting the revenue model right, I was betting on licensing fees and micropayments while the model was eventually but by youtube on advertising and only later on reward for creators
I am sure, had I been able to spell better my vision into potential market guesses, I could have communicated it better to investors. I like very much this insight by Reid Hoffmann in his book.