How Do You Pitch Your Startup When No One Cares About Your Product?

As a serial entrepreneur for 30 years, I am constantly asked

What does your company do?

This question comes up in discussions with friends, family, potential investors, journalists and of course potential users.

Now the experts will tell you, that users don’t care about about your product, all they want to know is what it will do for them. The solution of course is to build a story which tells them how their biggest problems will be solved by your product.

One of those who did it best was Steve Jobs. When he came out with the first iPod, there was no mention of specs, only “1000 songs in your pocket”! Five words and you got it.

The problem is that as you build your startup you engage with many audiences besides your users. You speak with potential employees, investors, suppliers, journalists etc. And the truth is that not only do they not care about your product, they don’t even care about your users! So how do you pitch your startup to them ?!?

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Now on my tenth startup (fone.do), I finally realised that when speaking to these audiences my first sentence should be about what it does for them. For example – to a new employee I will say “this is a great growth opportunity for you to work on a revolutionary product with the latest programming tools”. When meeting potential investors, I will say to them “This investment will give you a 20x ROI since there are 22 million customers out there just waiting for us to launch!”
While a journalist will get from me “Readers will love to hear from you how new technologies will make their life easier!”

Once you get into the mode it is easy. Just put yourself in the other guy’s shoes and think what interests him.

Remember, no one cares about your product… or about your users. No one.

Voicemail is Dead. But, We Can’t Do Without It!

Everyone uses voicemail. Or do they?

The process of building a new phone system from scratch is very rewarding. You actually have the chance to examine axioms and decide if they are still relevant today. A good example is Voicemail.

Today it is hard to find a phone without Voicemail. But times are changing. As part of the design process for our newfangled phone system for businesses, we asked ourselves the question — do we need to include voicemail as a feature in our system? Our first answer was — of course, but further market research showed how wrong we were.

For example, I asked fellow startup founders on Karma  if they still use VM? The results as you can see in the screenshot  was clearcut. Research in other groups gave similar results.

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So did we go ahead and leave VM out of our design? No we didn’t. At a design meeting our UX (User Experience) consultant, Ido Shavit brought up an interesting point. People don’t want to leave a message, but on the other hand, they don’t want to just hear the phone ring, or hear a message that the subscriber is not available. Callers want some kind of personal feedback.

Ido’s comment, together with our existing feeling, that VM is due for an upgrade & overhaul has led us to design a new & improved Intelligent  Voicemail. We think you will like it. Stay tuned to for more information.  Sign up at fone.do and be notified when we launch!