Sunday, March 22, 2009

Elevator pitch

How about we post samples of elevator pitches or resources for building them as comments to this entry?



  1. since Steve is the only group member I know so far, I will use this space to try out my elevator pitch to introduce myself to you. if you conclude from reading it that I protect houses from invasions of water rats, I will have failed miserably. if, on the other hand, you have some inkling of what I do, that's one step closer to success. here goes:

    Many companies believe it would be cost effective to offer IT functions bundled as services, but do not necessarily know how to do it. I consult for these organizations, both for the IT departments that want to become service providers and for the potential business consumers of the services. My goal is to help them create an environment of collaboration both within the provider groups, and between providers and consumers. I guide the provider management through the process of understanding what it means to offer a service: organizational structure, governance structure, engineering and operational know-how, measures of success, and pricing structure; and, finally, how to offer and run services. I train business users to be knowledgeable consumers: to understand what they can and should demand from service providers, what is realistic and what is not, and what remedies are available to them if they do not get what they paid for.

  2. This is something which would change contingent upon the company and the nature of the position I was targeting, but here's an example of one featuring one of my passions:
    "We are in a world in which marketplaces are becoming more and more increasingly global, but very few have a concrete understanding of how to create a software product or website which prepares them to compete anywhere in the world. Simply translating a product or site from one language to another isn't sufficient, and international audiences expect more. One of my areas of expertise is in globalization- preparing products from a core level so that they can easily be localized to meet the demands of international audiences at a minimal cost in either manpower or fiduciary terms."

  3. wingedelf, I understand what you're driving at. I think you may get the point across more forcefully if you give an example of something that is translated in language only, but not in culture -- something that makes assumptions about US cultural milieu but which would not be valid assumptions elsewhere.

  4. Odd that OpenID isn't using the proper persona, but anyway....

    Dates are a great example which go in the second 30 seconds. If you see a date written out 03/02/01, what does it mean to you? In North America, it'll mostly be interpreted as the second of March, 2001; but you can't make that assumption elsewhere. In much of Europe and South America, it'd be perceived as the third of February, 2001; and in Southeast Asia the first of February, 2003.

    An example of internationalization would be detecting in one method or another (even by self-identification) what the user's regional settings are and presenting the date appropriately.

    I can use other examples until listeners' eyes glaze over.


  5. That's a great example, Vanya, because it's easy to grasp. If you have another that's funny or outrageous, use that too because it will grab the hearer's attention. There's an old translator joke that if you take "Out of sight, out of mind" and translate it into Japanese and then back again into English you get "Invisible, insane." Your tag line might also be that you don't translate/globalize just text, but cultural idioms as well. You can use that as a differentiator, and humor will underscore the point.