Dee Barker | Crain's

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Dee Barker

Background:  

Better Body Image is a health and wellness platform that uses technology and visualization to collect and deliver body change data that help consumers focus on their health and wellness goals.

The Mistake:

My biggest mistake was not understanding how investors would react to an app on a mobile device.

When I was first looking for funding, investors weren’t really interested in the company. They thought it was an app, telling me that apps are here today and gone tomorrow. They didn’t see Better Body Image as a scalable product that would have staying power.

The problem was my presentations. I started out by showing investors our visualization features, and they incorrectly assumed that the product was an app. After my pitch, when they explained why they weren't interested, I began to realize that I wasn’t presenting the company in the right way.

I needed to show upfront that we were a health and wellness system delivered on a mobile device. I had wasted a lot of time and energy developing an elaborate power point presentation that looked as if my product was an app, which was totally ineffective.

I realized that I needed to reevaluate my presentation and tell the story first. 

The Lesson:

You don’t get a lot of chances to get in front of investors, so when you make this kind of mistake, it’s often hard to get back in front of them and convince otherwise. I realized that I needed to reevaluate my presentation and tell the story first.

The mistake in my thinking stemmed from the fact that I was putting my presentation together for VC groups as if I were talking to my angel investors who already knew the product and me. When you’re presenting to people you’ve never met, and you have 20 minutes or less to get a point across, it’s very important to convey what your product does, not what your product is.

My new presentation explains the system first before it goes into how it works and how that looks. As a result, investors better understand that it is a health and wellness platform for health care companies and employers. The visualization feature is our “secret sauce” and is what differentiates BBI and has attracted investment.​

Follow Dee Barker on Twitter at @xercisr1 and Better Body Image at @warpme_BBI.

Photo courtesy of Better Body Image

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