Fix the Pitch

How to craft compelling, dazzling pitchbooks. Thoughts, ideas, and inspiration to help construct advanced financial analysis, build stunning data visualizations and tips for mastering client meetings.

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Complex content creation requires a scalpel, not a Swiss Army Knife

Patrick RyanPatrick Ryan

I own three bikes: one for commuting, one for racing, and one for long rides. I guess I could use the same bike for all three activities, but what I would save in garage space I would lose in functionality.

Sometimes a one-size-fits-all product will only get you so far. If I had only one bike, I’d get to the same place, but I wouldn’t win any races and it wouldn’t be half as enjoyable. It’s like using a Swiss Army Knife all the time and not only when camping, sure you can do everything you need, but it just takes much longer.

In tech, many tools are really successful because they were built to do one thing really well—it’s difficult to be useful to everyone, and this is the approach we took building Pellucid, focusing on the needs of investment bankers. Our content platform is customized to integrate with the workstreams and tools bankers use; the data platform is built to accommodate complex financial metrics and analysis; the charts were curated and designed based not only on what we know needs to be in pitchbooks but to also introduce new ideas and approaches to make the content more compelling.

When building a product from the ground up, there is a temptation to try and make it work for everyone, “Well we could make it cloud based, but with the option to turn off syncing and upload?”, “We could have a setting for all of types of data?” We spent a lot of time discussing this. Should we build something that would require users to do some heavy lifting to make it work for their particular needs? Or do we want to solve one problem really, really well? Do we want to be the Swiss Army Knife or the scalpel?

We decided, “Let’s be awesome for the audience we know that struggles with data visualizations every day. Let’s build the go-to product for investment bankers.”

A chart can take 1-2 hours to produce, and the creation tools haven’t meaningfully evolved since Microsoft introduced Excel.

There is an aphorism in entrepreneurship that you should “scratch your own itch”. In investment banking, this itch is the time-consuming and laborious process of creating client-ready content for pitchbooks. A chart can take 1-2 hours to produce, and the creation tools haven’t meaningfully evolved since Microsoft introduced Excel. So we needed to create a product that could handle the vast amount of financial data investment bankers require and generate content that would plug into Microsoft products. But it also had to be fast, accurate, offer extensive options and be fully customizable so it could blend into any pitchbook.

So this is how we built Pellucid. Our data mapping tool means you can edit, upload, share, and store reams of financial data from any company, the content customization options let you choose the entities, the labels, the design, the colors, the value metrics, and if that doesn’t cover all you need, there is a customization request field to handle anything else. On top of this, we have an expert fulfillment team of former bankers who design charts and reports specifically for use in pitchbooks. Need a share price chart? We have several different visualizations built for this purpose, depending on how you want the conversation to go and what you want your key point to be.

We are scratching the content-creation itch of investment bankers, and this is the sole focus of our development, fulfillment, and leadership team.

If you’re looking for the Swiss Army Knife of chart creators, there are a lot of tools in the market that can do this, and if you’re prepared to invest the time in design and editing, they can be effective.

But if you’re tasked with creating financial data visualizations for exacting clients or generating detailed company reports to inspire ideas, then I think you will be really interested in how we can make your life easier and your clients happier, because Pellucid isn’t the Swiss Army Knife, it’s the scalpel.

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Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan

Chief Product Officer at Pellucid Analytics. Explanatory designer and builder of financial products and tools. Builds own skis. Filling the gap between ideas and execution.