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How to explain your startup to a dog

I recently saw “Margin Call”.  The movie could have been a lot better, but I did take away one important reminder that’s applicable to all the startups I see pitching on KickoffLabs pages, at events, etc.

The running joke is that as the information moves higher, the bigwigs understand less and less what the company actually does, until we get to the CEO, who tells the lead character:

“Explain it to me as if I were a small child, or a golden retriever.”

This is such a great reminder to anyone explaining anything about which you are an expert… and if you are building a business around an idea… you are an expert compared to EVERYONE you meet when it comes to that idea.  Sure, you’ll bump into people that know more than you on occasion, but you won’t lose any credibility by starting your pitch at the lowest common denominator.

Drop all the tech buzzwords, drop the jargon, drop things that make you sound smart.  Stay clear, concise, & simple. Focus on a problem and the results of using your solution.  It’s an important distinction. When you are talking to your dog he or she doesn’t care HOW it gets the treat… it just cares that you give it the treat.

Josh Ledgard – Co-Founder KickoffLabs


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