There’s no such thing as a perfect pitch but you can get closer to it by understanding one thing – how you start is crucial. That is why I love to start with a big idea. The concept is simple: to put a problem, a solution, context, market and business model in one clear, universally understood story. Seems doable. But often hard too achieve. Especially when our mind is overshadowed by excel mentality. And when years of pitching it wrong moulded us into blabbing bores. Crafting a good big idea is also highly complicated when the project itself sucks the big way.
Luckily when I work with startups I carefully select the ones I teach to pitch. It makes sense as not only my ant their success rate is higher. The world needs more good startups communicating good projects well. It certainly can do without vague or bad business project communicated bad and even without equally bad projects communicated brilliantly. In short you can pitch anything but not everything is worth pithing. The projects I quite recently worked with are worth pitching. Time will tell how good those projects are. After all business and market is a game of many factors. But working on the high-concept pitches and Big Idea for uBirds and Frendi proved to be easy. Mostly because the projects are well mapped so talking about them and crafting the right words was not mundane and tiresome.
Working on you big idea always go back to basics
If you want to explain the business well you have to get back to the very core elements of your idea and map them. If you do not clearly understand what you are actually doing and most importantly why you are doing it there is low chance you will communicate your project well. You may talk all the functionalities of the app, you can list the tech you packed your gadget or hardware with and people will still not care. And they will not understand. Good communication is about stripping things down to the max and coming up with the concept as simple as that meme.
This one sentence explains with a simple sentence the complex realities of a being bipolar. So if someone would want to explain this without using the difficult diagnostic criteria and if someone would actually want to „pitch” bipolar disorder they could use that meme. Bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar affective disorder and manic-depressive illness, is a mental disorder characterized by periods of elevated mood and periods of depression. So this meme strips the diagnostic criteria to the ground. One simple sentence maps the territory, shows the mechanism of the disorder and introduces the name of it, too. Well done indeed. That is what I call, getting back to basics. You must take out of your business model, the market and the elements you work on the most iconic and understandable schemes and start from there. That is why before I even start working on the first sentence of the presentation I need to understand the project very well.
uBirds rock, because why should you wear two watches
When I first met uBirds I knew it was a good project. It did not look beyond the horison. The guys at uBirds observed the not-much-changing landscape of watches and quickly evolving landscape of smart watches and came up with a great solution for those who love traditional watches and would love to have a smart watch. But would definitely love to wear both at the same time. In other words they took the best of two words without compromising the functionalities. So I decided to come up with an intro like this one:
This is a watch – since 16th century it has not changed much, yet it survived wars, tribulations, ups and downs. It survived and evolved to be the ultimate social status mark, one object with sentimental value and the ultimate accessory. The one many desire.
Now take a look at this smartwatch. It came onstage relatively recently and is packed with technology to make your life easier. It mimics the original watch and comes onboard with endless possibilities. It is seen as the ultimate gadget. The one many desire.
Those two watches answer similar yet distinctly different needs. Those two watches could go hand in hand yet even though they could compliment each other they will not. Why? Because you will rarely see two of them on the very same forearm.
Those two watches do not have to compete however, they do not have to collide, they should coexist.
We worked on the big idea that presented the best of two words but also showed where the problem is: people who want to keep their watch and have a smart watch will not wear two at the same time. But both watch and smart watch markets are great. One is a stable one. The other one is a rising one. So joining both products into one could only be beneficiary.
Working with Frendi to make products and services better
Frendi is a project I met when I went to Lublin with Road to Wolves Summit even. They won the pitching contest there even though their pitch was not so perfect. I mean, it was not bad but for my standards (and I have high standards) it was not good either. But the solution was interesting and that is why I decided to work with those guys. This followed:
The market is an easy territory. You have brands that offer products often sampling them as part of the marketing campaign. You have customers who use the products and test the samples on many occasions. And you have customers’ opinions that could help make products better. But this territory is a mess. Brands samples reach those who do not necessarily want them. Customers have opinions that they do not necessarily share in an organised way and brands spend tons on learning about customers via marketing research. In short it is a broken wheel. Frendi is here to fix it. We help brands make products and services better by sampling their products to the customers who choose what samples they want so that they can later on express their opinions in an organised way. We close the circuit joining the dots.
Frendi works with 3 elements that should work but do not. Brands wanting to make products better by listening to customers, customers wanting to test products and share their opinions about them and brands spending tons on polls and marketing research. That is why we’ve decided to picture this with the words above.
Those two example are just teasers of how I work. With startups and organisations I always listen and understand the first to put things in words that matter and big ideas that are easy to comprehend. I help companies hone their message. And this work never ends. And I love it.
You can pitch anything but not everything is worth pitching
©Jeff Sheldon via unsplash.com