How to explain your startup to people who don’t get it

Date
Jan 23, 2021 2:01 PM
Published
Jan 23, 2021

We have all been there. You have just had the most fucking amazing idea to innovate the world. At least that’s what you thought you had. And now all of a sudden, you’re not so sure. Your “friends” and “family” won’t get it. Your “mentors” and “advisors” (all 5 of them) don’t get it. Even fucking Bob from marketing won’t get it. They just don’t get it. So, what do you do?

Well, what you’re about to read is the motherfucking bible on how to explain your startup. It’s going to walk you through every step of the way from your idea to how you can actually make money off your idea. Buckle up, we’re going for a fucking ride.

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TL;DR

1. Ideas are worthless. It’s what you make out of them that matters. 2. When explaining your idea, get to the fucking point. 3. Talk about the fucking problem, not just your idea. 4. Tell a goddamn story that makes sense. 5. Be funny and lighthearted while doing so. 6. Listen to the people you’re talking to. 7. Don’t talk to people who are not your target audience.

Before we start, let’s make one thing perfectly clear:

Ideas are worth fucking nothing

You may think that when you get your fucking idea, it’s going to change the world. You might even think that it’s going to be worth millions and make you fucking rich. The truth? You couldn’t be more fucking wrong. And we’re going to tell you why.

The idea itself is worthless. Your idea died the day you had it. It’s simply a product of your fucked up imagination, and nothing more. The only thing that makes your idea worth anything is the ability to make it happen.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s take a look at why people don’t get your startup.

Why won’t they get it?

There are three main reasons why people don’t get your startup:

  1. The idea is shit
  2. The idea is not shit but you fail to explain it well
  3. You can explain it well but the people you’re talking to are either idiots or don’t give a fuck

Before you start thinking that #3 is the fucking problem, let’s consider #1 and #2 in greater detail.

1. Your idea is shit

“All ideas are worthless but some ideas are more worthless than others.” - George fucking Orwell, Animal Farm

There’s a psychological effect called “idea boner” (Kocks et al, 2010). When we have an idea, it feels really, really fucking good. It makes us feel like we’re fucking geniuses and can make a lot of money off our fucking ideas. But just like the boner in your pants can lead to fucking massive problems (like that time you ended up fucking your best friend’s wife), your boner for ideas can lead you to bankruptcy.

Although boners usually wear off pretty fast, sometimes you will have an idea boner that just won’t fucking go away. It’s constant, it never wears off. You can’t stop thinking about your idea, and worst of all, you can’t stop telling people about your idea. They react with a weird combination of fear and disgust, but you don’t fucking care.

So how do you know that you’re having an idea boner? Here’s a cheklist:

  1. Suddenly you’re inspired to put your ideas into action and work on them at all hours of the fucking day.
  2. You forget all other shit, become obsessed with this idea, become unable to function without it.
  3. You can’t fucking sleep at night because it’s the only thing you can think about.
  4. You stop reading books and watching porn, because you’re too busy fucking thinking about your fucking idea.
  5. You become delusional, convinced that your idea is so fucking good that it’s going to save the entire human race and make you a billionaire at the same time.

If you checked at least three of the above five, you’re fucking boned.

So how do you deal with your boner? Simply put: fucking stop talking about it. Shut the fuck up and walk away and get some goddamn sleep. Chances are you’ll wake up your normal self again, and realize that your idea was more bullshit than anything else.

2. The idea is not shit but you fail to explain it well

This is the meat of this article, and you might be wondering why the fuck we spent 700 fucking words explaining to you that your idea is worth fucking nothing. The reason is simple: it helps you to accept the reality that your idea doesn’t matter and never will. It’s just a piece of shit that you can throw in the toilet and forget about forever.

Anyway, assuming your idea is not shit (which it is), the issue might be that you’re a fucking nerd who mumbles too much, forgets to look people in the eye while talking to them and can’t fucking articulate your point. If this sounds like you, then take a deep breath for we’re about to teach you how to explain your startup in 5 easy steps.

2.1. Get to the fucking point.

Fucking explain the core of what you’re up to in 20 words at most. Write it down, practice it out loud until you can say it in less than 7 seconds. Longer than that and people are already losing interest in what you’re saying. They start thinking “I didn’t really ask for this shit, I was just doing small talk with this nerd.” So make sure you get to the fucking point.

Examples:

  • “This app allows people to sell their unwanted stuff to each other in a more efficient way than using the usual transaction websites like craigslist/eBay/etc.”
  • “This social network will allow anyone to chat with celebrities for a fee while all the proceeds will go to charity.”
  • “My marketing agency will use A.I. to create engaging marketing copy in real time and at a fraction of the cost of humans.”

2.2. Talk about the fucking problem.

Walk people through the fucking problem and then explain how your startup is going to solve it. It’s a common mistake for people with motherfucking ideas to only talk about their fucking idea and nothing else. Remember: NO. ONE. GIVES. A. FUCKING. Fucking. FLYING. FUCKING. SHIT. ABOUT. YOUR. IDEA. Problems, on the other hand, have a much wider spectrum of interest. Especially if it affects them.

Examples:

  • For the app allows people to sell their unwanted stuff to each other: “Most people have acquired a lot of unwanted stuff over the years. Whether it’s clothes they don’t wear anymore, furniture they don’t use or accessories that have become outdated. These unneeded items can clutter your living room but selling them is just too damn time consuming. Going from website to website, writing descriptions, taking pictures, answering to comments etc. You could do all of that when you have 12 hours in your day and a liver of fucking steel. But most people don’t have that kind of time.”
  • For the social network will allow anyone to chat with celebrities for a fee: “ Most people feel like they won’t ever have the opportunity to talk with famous people. And most of the time, that’s true. Only a small minority of people ever end up working in the same company or doing the same things as famous folks. Celebrities, on the other hand, have a much wider spectrum of people who want to talk to them. And these poor schmucks are always bombarded with messages on social media like Twitter or Facebook. Problem is, it’s impossible to have a meaningful conversation with hundreds of people at the same time.”
  • For the marketing agency using A.I.: “Hiring a copywriter, whether in-house or from one of the many agencies out there, is extremely expensive. A good copywriter can easily cost 6 figures per year. For a small startup, this simply isn’t something you can afford. On top of that, copywriters are not machines, they have limited time in the day, which means they can’t produce more than a few hundred words per hour. This limits your outreach in an age when content is key to stay relevant.”

2.3. Tell the fucking story.

You’re not writing a fucking dissertation on some fucking obscure topic. You’re talking about your startup idea. So fucking tell a goddamn story. Since the dawn of time, humans have been telling stories in-between fucking and killing each other. It’s how we learn, how we understand stuff.

Examples:

  • For the app that allows people to sell their unwanted stuff to each other: “I once had a friend who was moving from Paris to New York and had to clear all the stuff they didn’t need anymore. Since he had a ton of shit to throw out, he asked me to help him by listing the things on Craigslist. We ended up spending an entire fucking day listing things and updating the ad so people could come check what we had to offer.”
  • For the social network will allow anyone to chat with celebrities for a fee: “A few years ago, I had the opportunity to exchange a few emails with Morgan Freeman. I was in awe. I remember feeling like one of those kids from the movie ‘The Sandlot’ who finally got to touch the fucking Babe Ruth ball. It was then that I thought, why not create a platform that will allow anyone to get in touch with their favorite celebrities without feeling like a fucking stalker?”
  • For the marketing agency using A.I.: “Back in my agency days, I once had a client who wanted me to create a dozen landing pages for a new product, and he needed it to launch in a week. So what did I do? Well, I put a bunch of interns on the task of creating the pages manually. Needless to say, they failed miserably. It took them a fucking month to finish the project. It was then that I started researching the topic of A.I.-powered copywriting. The rest, as they say, is motherfucking history.”

2.4. Don’t be so goddamn serious.

“A serious look on your face isn’t a sign of intelligence.” - Some Soviet movie I watched as a kid

If people see you looking like your IQ is higher than that of E=mc2, they’ll think you’re a fucking nerd and no one gives a flying fuck about nerds. Remember: you’re not explaining some abstract mathematical formula to your friends, you’re selling an idea to motherfuckers who care less than a dead corpse about it.

So you’re going to need to be fucking funny and lighthearted. Laugh at yourself when you fuck up and, if you can, make light of yourself. Make jokes. Tell stories. People like hearing stories, and they like laughing at funny shit.

2.5. Listen, for fuck’s sake.

Remember that you’re not the only one talking in the conversation. Ask questions to get people thinking about your idea, and then listen to what they have to say. You’ll be surprised at how fucking helpful people can be if you just fucking listen to them.

Now I know, listening can be hard, especially if the people you’re listening to seem to know nothing about the subject you’re talking about. But, remember, neither will most of the people who will be actually using your fucking product. So if you can’t explain it to an idiot, you’re not ready to start pitching it.

3. You can explain it well but the people you’re talking to are idiots

Okay, let’s be gentle, they might not be idiots. They’re just not fucking interested in your startup. They don’t give a flying fuck about the idea whatsoever. All they want to talk about is the fucking weather, their dog or their favorite TV show. In other words, they just might not be your target audience.

  • It makes no sense to sell an app that allows people to sell their unwanted stuff to each other to 12 year olds.
  • It makes no sense to sell a social network where you can chat with celebrities to people who don’t give a fuck about celebrities.
  • It makes no sense to sell a marketing agency that uses artificial intelligence to write copy to someone who only uses his laptop for jerking off to videos of cats.

If that’s the case, thank them for their opinion and tell them to go fuck themselves. Then, start thinking about who your target audience really is. But that’s a story for another time.

If nothing works

So, you’ve absolutely sure your idea is not shit, you tried doing everything as I said in this article, the people you pitched it to are all relevant — but they still seem to not fucking get it.

In that case, it might be that explaining shit to people is just not your thing. Well, you’re in luck today because that’s exactly our thing at A.I., motherfuckers!.

So if you’re still dead set that the world fucking needs your fucking startup, drop us a fucking line and we’ll explain it to them in our own way* for the price of a fraction of a motherfucking pizza.

* No, it doesn’t have to be the same kind of obscene shit you’ve just read. But it can be. You’re the motherfucking boss.