How Hype Works: What 226 Startup Pitches Taught Me About The Business

When I started my business in late 2016, I was sure that it was going to be the next big thing. My husband and I had just finished our PhDs and were fresh out of academia, and we were convinced that we had the perfect entrepreneurial idea. So we set out to start a company. But things didn’t go as planned. We quickly realized that the startup world is full of tough competition, and there are a lot of hurdles you have to jump through if you want to succeed. We were constantly facing obstacles from finding the right investors to building a scalable business and it was hard work. But despite all the challenges, we persevered, and by 2018 our company had finally achieved some success.

What I learned during this process is that hype can be a powerful tool in the business world, and it can help you achieve your goals even if things don’t seem easy at first. In this article, I’ll explain how hype works and how you can use it to your advantage when starting or growing your business.

The Power of Hype

When I was pitching my startup to investors, I was constantly reminded of the power of hype.

All startups have a certain amount of hype. It’s what gets people excited and motivated to invest. But there’s a certain level of hype that can be dangerous. Too much hype can lead to unrealistic expectations, which can ultimately result in failure.

Here’s an example: A company might announce that it’s acquired a new company and is going to be worth millions of dollars within the next few years. Many people will believe this news, even if the company hasn’t actually accomplished anything yet. This creates a lot of pressure on the team, and they may end up working extremely hard without any real results.

The key is to avoid over hype at all costs. It’s important to be realistic about your goals and what you’re capable of achieving. This will help you maintain a positive attitude and stay focused on the task at hand.

How to Spot a Hype Startup

When I first started working in the tech industry, I was completely surprised by how much hype there is around startups. I had never really heard about this before, and it seemed like everyone was talking about startups in a positive light.

eventually I realized that this was just a part of the startup culture. All startups seem to be surrounded by a lot of hype at some point or another. It’s important to be able to spot when this is happening and understand why it’s happening.

One way to do this is to look for signs of hype. Here are some of the most common signs of hype:

  • The startup is talking about themselves in a very positive way
  • The startup is making lofty claims about their product or service
  • The startup is claiming to be the best thing ever
  • The startup is claiming they can change the world

Once you’ve identified signs of hype, it’s important to take them into account when you’re evaluating a startup. When you see these signs, it’s important to remember that they usually mean that the startup isn’t actually worth your time or money.

The Difference Between a Good and a Bad Hype Startup

One of the most important things to know about hype is the difference between a good and a bad hype startup.

A good hype startup is one that has something unique and valuable to offer. They are also able to create a lot of positive buzz around their product or service. This creates a lot of interest in what they have to offer, which leads to more people wanting to invest in them.

A bad hype startup, on the other hand, is one that isn’t able to live up to the expectations that were created around them. They may start off with good intentions, but they ultimately fall short in terms of quality. This can lead to a lot of negative buzz and little interest in their product or service.

What to Do When You Encounter Hype

When I first started working in the startup world, I was constantly bombarded with pitches from various startups. I was always struck by how much hype these companies were putting out.

Now, after working in the startup space for a while, I’ve learned that hype is actually a necessary part of the business cycle. Hype helps to create excitement around a product or company, which can help to attract investors and customers.

However, too much hype can be harmful to a company’s image. Too much emphasis on the wrong aspects of a product or company can lead to consumer backlash and eventually bankruptcy. It’s important to strike a balance between hyping up your product and ensuring that it delivers on its promises.


As a startup founder, you are constantly being pitched to invest in your company. And if you’re like me, it’s tempting to believe every pitch that hits your inbox. After all, there are thousands of startups out there vying for my attention and money. Why would I choose one over another?

The reality is that not all startup pitches are created equal. The 226 pitches I read as part of my research for this article taught me a lot about the business side of startups. For example, I had no idea that most startups fail because they can’t find the right investors or because their product isn’t good enough. In fact, many of the successful startups on this list were able to overcome these challenges and succeed because they had a great team and an amazing product.

So be careful what you believe when it comes to startup pitches. Don’t fall victim to the hype cycle  instead, do your research so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to investing in a new company.


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