Pages

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Forget Your Elevator Pitch — What's Your Dumbwaiter Pitch?

Harvard Business Review wordmarkImage via Wikipedia


Harvard Business Review
12:01 PM Tuesday April 20, 2010
…Today, elevator pitches are the economic equivalent of speeches at a beauty pageant: predictable, often vapid, always bland.

…Try a Dumbwaiter Pitch instead. … Its goal? To strip an organization right down to its bones, and see how compelling it really is.

What's the one-word description of your business? …The most common answer is: hmming, hawing, and silence. The second most common answer is an imaginary benefit. The third most common answer is a raw product… . All three answers reveal a business with whose foundation, its economic concept, is confused, muddled, and perhaps even nonexistent. …


What's Twitter's Dumbwaiter Pitch? I'd say: "alerts." And that's powerful in a roiling, seething world where risk and volatility are vastly amplified. Information that alerts you to possibilities and opportunities matters more than ever before. … Twitter is one of the few companies in the economy with a solid, compelling Dumbwaiter Pitch.

In simplicity lie the seeds of explosively powerful propositions. In complexity, only confusion, incoherence, and uncompetitiveness.

Reductive, simplistic, restrictive? Think again. Nearly every disruptive business, in fact, has a Dumbwaiter Pitch as pure, simple, and powerful as Niagara Falls. Google? Search. Apple? Beauty. Lego? Creativity. …
The Dumbwaiter Pitch is so powerful because it cuts through the obfuscation, glad-handing, and double-talk … and asks them to get straight to the real point. And, of course, like the sharpest of scalpels, it reveals where there never was any meat on the bones to begin with.

Only businesses with a razor-sharp, laser-focused vision — and a disruptive economic concept — can craft a Dumbwaiter Pitch. Do you have what it takes? What's the one-word description of your business?

Umair Haque
Umair Haque
Umair Haque is Director of the Havas Media Lab and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. He also founded Bubblegeneration, an agenda-setting advisory boutique that shaped strategies across media and consumer industries.
Umair Haque
Enhanced by Zemanta