I firmly believe that if you cannot describe what your company does in two sentences, you don’t fully understand what you are about. Maybe its ego. Maybe its lack of understanding. Maybe its simply that you are verbose. Perhaps you really don’t understand what you do. Einstein said: “if you can’t describe it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
From time to time newbies in our industry honor me by asking my advice on a new idea or a new company they are forming. I was traveling in the Atlanta area and two founders of a startup drove three hours, rented a temporary office, and set up a presentation for me about their new venture.
I sat through 55 minutes of their presentation when it hit me. “OMG, you are a pay by cell phone company.” I had weathered powerpoint, videos, and verbal presentations. And for nearly an hour I had no clue what the company did. I was overwhelmed by terms such as ‘eco system’ and “cloud based” and “real time” and “digital” but nothing that actually told me how they expected to generate cash flow and support their customers.
See, they were so taken with the jargon that they neglected to describe the actual nuts and bolts of their product. Having grown up in Silicon Valley, they felt that presenting their company as ‘high-tech’ was more important that simply describing what they did.
“Parking Today is a company that publishes a magazine, promotes a trade show, has a major online presence, and aggregates news online daily, all focused on the parking industry.”
See how easy it is.