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Elevator Pitch Canvas

Why Elevator Pitch?

Imagine this: You come across a high-level exec or say a VC on the way to their office in an elevator. You have an opportunity to tell them about your great idea in the next few mins or so. You can tell them about your idea, why it is such a winner and impress them enough to fund it. Are you ready?

That is the promise of the concept of an elevator pitch— that it should be possible to share the vision + value in the time span of an elevator ride (of one or two minutes).

However, I feel that is not the real value of an elevator pitch. The above scenario and the outcome are highly improbable anyway. The real value is for the founder and the key employees It forces them to think very systematically and clearly about their product.

If you are a founder, you may not find this surprising— that it is extremely hard to put in a few words the immense knowledge, the synthesis of the knowledge and opportunities and the vision you have in mind. This is where an Elevator pitch makes all the difference.

It is part of my suite of innovation canvases. The complete (and growing list) is composed of: Ecosystem Mapping Canvas, Elevator Pitch Canvas, Experiment Canvas, Idea Canvas, Product Management Canvas.

Introducing The Elevator Pitch Canvas

The Elevator Pitch is a lean innovation tool. It allows you to create a brief and easy to memorize description of your product and its purpose.

Elevator Pitch Canvas Format by Dinker Charak

Ultimately, the Elevator Pitch should sound like a coherent sentence. Eg:

For those with access to the worldwide web Who seek specific information on the web, The Google Search Is A search engine That crawl the web and indexes information in a unique way Unlike Altavista, Infoseek, Dogpile, Yahoo, Lycos, Looksmart, Excite, Webcrawler, AskJeeves, Inktomi, MSN, Overture and AllTheWeb, Our Product uses the number of links to a page (and few other secret tricks) to identify the most relevant result for your search among the first 20 results.

For (Your target customer)

This is where you name your key / most important customer or a very clear + narrow customer segment

Who (Their statement of the need or opportunity)

This is where you call out the key need / pain point / opportunity that you are addressing among those target customers

The (Your product name)

This is where you call out your product’s name

Is A (The product category)

This is where you describe the product’s category.

That (Key benefit / compelling reason to use)

This is where you call out the key benefits. Avoid making this a list and that too a long one. Ideally, the key USP is part of the later section. This is where you try to match the items you put in Who (Their statement of the need or opportunity) section.

Unlike (Your primary competitive alternative)

This is where you list competing products.

Our (Product Statement of primary differentiation)

The key USP of your product.

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Your Example

If you have used this version of the Elevator Pitch Canvas to articulate and develop your idea, do consider sharing a non-confidential version with me. I will post it here along with attribution. The more we share, the more we learn!

Dinker Charak

Dinker has over a decade of experience in building products across diverse domains such as Industrial Automation, Home Automation, Operating Systems, High Energy Particle Physics, Embedded Systems, Online Video Advertising, Messaging, K-12 education and Private Banking. He also founded Gungroo Software. He books '#ProMa: Product Management Tools, Methods & Some Off-the-wall Ideas' and 'The Neutrinos Are Coming and Other Stories' are available globally. He also manages, an Indian Sci-fi portal.