Awesome, Awesome, Doesn’t Suck: Your Elevator Pitch

Date Updated: Friday, October 5, 2018

This post originally appeared on Alec Saunders' blog.

Some pieces of learning stick with you your entire life.  Many many moons ago, a former manager of mine named Rich Tong, taught me a simple way to pitch anything.  The formula is “Awesome, Awesome, Doesn’t Suck.”  Best of all, it’s easy to remember, too.

Say, for example, you were required to position the Island of Jamaica.  Years ago, Jamaica used to market itself as “The Hawaii of the Carribean”. Jamaica is like Hawaii because it has fantastic sun, sand and beaches (awesome), and because it’s beautiful with the same kind of mountainous terrain as Hawaii (awesome).  Best of all, it’s a lot closer and cheaper to travel to (doesn’t suck).

An elevator pitch is a one minute or less description of what you or your company does — four or five sentences that convey your core proposition.  You can use Rich’s formula to construct your elevator pitch quickly and easily.   Start with an easy hook — a question, or a bold statement of some kind.  Then follow it up with a claim that positions how your product or company solves that problem.  And then three supporting points, following the Awesome, Awesome, Doesn’t Suck formula.

Simple, right?

Let’s say somebody asked about Microsoft Ventures. I might reply with:

“Microsoft Ventures empowers startups to do more. (hook)  We provide world class coaching to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. (position) Over the last four years,  our programs have helped entrepreneurs to raise over a billion dollars in financing (awesome), and garnered recognition and awards where they are delivered (awesome).  And best of all, we don’t ask entrepreneurs to give up any equity in their companies when they participate (doesn’t suck).”

Awesome, awesome, doesn’t suck.

Try this formula for your next elevator pitch.

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