22 years ago, the venture capitalist John Doerr had the opportunity to make the largest financial investment of his life. The company he was investing in was not first to market in it’s space, not second, but the 17th! …I love competitive markets but that’s a topic for another day.
Doerr made a $12M investment for 12% of the company. Today John is worth $12B. The company he invested in back in ‘99? Google.
He tells the Google story in his book, Measure What Matters. The original Google pitch was extremely simple and purposeful. Doerr writes that he was hooked from the start with eleven precise, well-chosen words: “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Great founders have a way of simplifying the complicated (not the other way around). When Steve Jobs launched the iPod, he described it as “1,000 songs in your pocket”.
The ability to capture the essence of what your company – or what your product – does in REALLY simple terms without doubt is so powerful.
So, the question I have for you is this: What does your company do? Or, to put it another way, what’s your elevator pitch? This simple question causes so much pain for founders. It’s the one question that will make a grown man cry!
What I have found over the years is that if I have a good ONE LINER that explains what my company does it provides a great platform to expand upon. If I don’t have it, I’m a blubbering confused mess!
So here it is people, what you’ve all been waiting for…
5 steps to nail your elevator pitch as a Founder.
1) Invest a day with your core team building your elevator pitch
2) Create something that inspires you all. Make sure you love it
3) Use 20 words or less
4) Practice, practice, practice.
5) Put it in print, on your blog, all over your website, on every piece of marketing collateral everywhere.
Nail your elevator pitch and everyone will understand what you and your company does in seconds. Your confidence in cocktail parties will be back, your sales numbers will improve, and you’ll raise millions of dollars in venture capital.
Cheers to that!