Pitching a Product

Introducing the big idea should take just one minute. Don’t spend time on details.

In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore formulated a useful, short pattern for idea introduction.

For (target audience) who (statement of the opportunity), my idea is a (product category) that provides (statement of key benefit). Unlike (competitors), my idea (statement of primary differentiation).

The point is to give a high level introduction to the idea and position the idea in the markets. Yes, this is a positioning statement, too.

Introducing an idea

But how to make that sound interesting? “Our product is …” is often the most boring way to introduce anything.

This is how I would use Moore’s pattern:

For recreational sports team coaches who struggle with team management, PlayerLineup is a team calendar and website that makes sports team management easy and saves time. Unlike a generic Facebook or Whatsapp group, PlayerLineup provides attendance tracking, statistics and proper player roles.

That actually works quite ok in writing. In a cocktail event not so good. Amy Hoy put it well in her post Shut up and take my money. She writes that instead of answering “Our product is…”, one should answer with something that focuses on the person who’s asking. Let’s talk about the problem the customer has:

You didn’t want to spend your nights calling after players and answering angry parents about why their child is not getting the most minutes in all games. When you agreed to coach the local youth sports team, you thought you’d focus on education, coaching, strategy, and the game. You wanted to help the community and have fun coaching a group of kids.

PlayerLineup gives you that. We save your time and make team management a breeze.

I think I’ll use the first version when writing and the second version when talking casually..

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