In times like this, it's always fun to think about just what exactly people are investing in in the first place. We found some old investor presentations given by enormous websites before they got so big. These are the slides they would show to potential investors, and they're pretty neat.
Take BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed recently received a new round of money from NBC Universal; the site now reaches more than 200 million readers per month. Back in 2008, BuzzFeed was getting a little more than 1% of that traffic, but leader Jonah Peretti was very optimistic about the site's future.
BuzzFeed did a lot of these things! Not that second one though: BuzzFeed ended up hiring a lot of editors.
As you can see from this slide, BuzzFeed has outpaced their competitors, many of whom are not around anymore.
Way back when, YouTube was a site getting about 100,000 views a day. Even back then, its slogan game was on point.
YouTube described the company purpose/goal as "to become the the primary outlet of user-generated video content on the Internet." It wanted to let anyone upload, view, and share video. Achievement unlocked!
The company looked at the internet and saw that there were too many file formats for online video. Wouldn't it be great, its founders asked, if there was a default option?
Like BuzzFeed, YouTube outpaced its competition.
YouTube now receives billions of views per day.
One of the best parts of the YouTube deck is at the very end where they include a press release from a previous round of funding that went well.
YouTube was once a scrappy website that had to let potential investors know that other investors thought they were onto something. In their pitch to potential investors!
Let this serve as an inspiration to anyone who has an idea for an app or website: In ten years, you, too, could be safely ensconced as a leader in your industry, looking back on your pitch deck with a laugh.
[H/T CB Insights, where you can see full presentations from these and other companies—Airbnb used to be Air Bed and Breakfast!]
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org