i'm a VC. you're an entrepreneur.
we're in an elevator, and you've got 30 seconds.
ok, if your pitch began with "we're building an X for Y", then guess what
yeah, i know in an earlier presentation i said "we're X for Y" works well for short-hand notation.
but the problem is... it's not my problem. it's your solution.
and the solution isn't your solution, it's my problem.
your SOLUTION is to SOLVE MY PROBLEM
or i can say that another way:
IT IS NOT HELPFUL TO YOUR CAUSE TO DO AN ELEVATOR PITCH WHERE YOU SHOVE YOUR SOLUTION DOWN MY GODDAMN THROAT. OVER and OVER and OVER.
let me explain...
we had just finished doing the typical mind-numbing bullshit VC panel on what's trendy / what's hot. (which was of course, incredibly insightful and useful... NOT). next, the attendees -- all 300 of them -- were asked to get up and do a quick pitch on the startup idea they wanted to do over the weekend. the concept here was that other people might hear the idea & want to join forces. now, not to say there aren't some flaws with listening to 300 people do a quick pitch in a crowded room with terrible acoustics, but beyond that auditory imposition, there was one other big problem:
almost all of those pitches SUCKED ASS.
after about the 4th or 5th one, i just couldn't stand it any longer. i was NOT going to sit thru an hour-and-a-half of shitty elevator pitches.
so i grabbed the mike from the next open-mouthed entrepreneur and said:
this happened for another 4-5 entrepreneurs. they would pitch their SOLUTION. i would then be a dick, yell for them to stop, have them start over, and state the PROBLEM first. after about 10-15 minutes of this insanity, i think i scared the shit out of them, and perhaps only to stop me from berating them publicly in front of several hundred people, they FINALLY started pitching the PROBLEM.