“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” — Oscar Wilde
You might have a great idea, but you need to know how to pitch an idea.
This is a simple, time-tested framework for testing your vision, your pitch for a project, or your proposed solution.
One of my mentors uses it all the time to test the thinking and to make sure the team stays on track.
I’ve adopted because it’s a great way to stay focused on the basics.
Don’t let the basics get in the way of great results.
A Simple Pitch Framework for Pitching Ideas Better
The pitching framework for business ideas is pretty simple to use.
You simply walk the categories and ask questions to explore the thinking:
- Who is the customer?
- What is the problem?
- What is the competition?
- What does success look like?
How the Pitch Framework Helps You Pitch Ideas Better
Here’s how each component of the pitching framework helps:
Know your customer
Your customer is a strategic decision. Asking who the customer is, forces you to decide who’s in and who’s out.
This helps you figure out what’s relevant and what is not. This helps you build empathy for relevant customer problems, once you know who your customer really is.
This helps you determine whether there is a market and whether you will be relevant to your customer.
It also helps you identify your ultimate test bed. If your customers aren’t happy, you missed the boat.
Don’t be a solution looking for a problem
Asking what’s the problem forces you to ask whether you are focusing on the right problem.
Is it really a problem?
Do your customers think so?
Is this the next best thing to work on?
Are you playing to your strengths?
Knowing the problem can also help you build customer empathy.
Know what the competition is doing
You should know what’s been done, and you should be clear on your differentiation.
Are you competing on the problem, the approach, or the implementation?
Know what success looks like
Asking what does success looks like, forces you to figure out your tests for success.
In this case, I’ve found it helpful to both be able to draw your vision, and to know the key measures that you can evaluate.
The sooner you can draw your vision, the earlier you can beat up the idea to make it better, as well as get people on board.
When you figure out what to measure, it’s important to consider who the opinion leaders are, who the key stakeholders are, and who your key customers are.
Chances are, the tests for success can be very different, especially if your stakeholders lack customer empathy.
Example Pitch Using the Pitch Framework
Here is an example pitch using the pitch framework:
- Who is the customer? The customer is busy professionals who need a convenient way to eat healthy meals at home.
- What is the problem? The problem is that people are increasingly busy and don’t have the time or energy to cook healthy meals at home, leading to unhealthy eating habits and related health issues.
- What is the competition? The competition includes meal delivery services, but many of them are expensive, unhealthy, or not customizable to individual dietary needs and preferences.
- What does success look like? Success looks like a thriving meal prep service that offers affordable, healthy, and customizable meal plans for busy professionals, leading to improved health outcomes and customer satisfaction.
It’s a simple frame, but it can help keep you focused on the right things.