Is it Too Good to be True?

Some times when I hear a pitch for a product or service, I ask myself this question – Is this too good to be true?

Why does that happen? And why with only a few of the pitches? Thought about it a bit and I have a few hypotheses:

  1. When I hear the end result of what the product claims to do, I should like it. That is the first step. If it does not, I turn off my attention engine.
  2. If I like the concept, the critic in me, however, asks a few questions – Where is the evidence? Does this team seem capable? What kind of problems they may run into? Do I know enough about the Science to validate their claims?
  3. Pitches are hard. First you need to be clear in communication. Next you need to take the audience along with you – step by step. In each step, you reveal a bit and take them to the next step. One misstep and you lose the audience.
  4. You need to consider that your audience may be diverse. Some may look at the Science behind the product. Others the feasibility of your team implementing it. Others may look at the chances of it going from concept to reality. Almost every one will look at whether it solves a real pain and if it does, whether you have the capability to reach that market.
  5. The convincing pitches are those that remove this uncertainty. You have a working prototype and a few paying customers. Both these things, boost your chance in getting the attention of the audience.

So my advice to all those who pitch – treat the audience like students. Assume nothing and explain carefully how you are going to do what you claim to do. Wait for the questions, listen carefully and answer. It takes time to develop this skill so practice like hell.