— Ashley Towers

140 Character Elevator Pitch

This post is a reworked version from my now deceased Posterous blog. It’s been reproduced here because I like it :-)

When I posted the following tweet it proved to be a little more controversial than I was expecting: http://twitter.com/ashleytowers/status/16922598763

“If you can’t explain your product in one tweet it’s a) Too complicated b) Lacks Focus.”

I see a tweet as the modern elevator pitch. I’m sure you all know what an elevator pitch is – a short description of your product/service/whatever that you could reel off within an elevator journey should you ever find yourself in an elevator with someone influential. In the modern era when attention spans are at an all time low 140 characters should be ample to get the core of your product/service across. I’m not suggesting a full description of every little feature – but I believe if 140 characters isn’t enough to get across the gist of your project then you won’t have the focus your product needs. This concise definition is your product’s soul – it is the core definition that lets you instinctively *know* if you should add a feature or not. If a feature doesn’t fit in with or enhance this short definition then it is questionable as to whether it should be added.

The Space Shuttle: “A partially reusable manned space launch and reentry vehicle” 60 characters

Twitter “A web site that lets people post short update messages and receive updates from others who they find interesting” 112 characters.

The ability to define your product concisely keeps it focused on what matters – Twitter doesn’t need comments, the ability to post longer updates or share photos. They don’t fit in to that core definition – they add weight in the same way as adding a bidet to the space shuttle.

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