Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cool is Not a Strategy

Why should cool be banned?

Last week I sat through several presentations by start-ups; technical companies working in very different areas.   One phrase in the pitches stuck out like a sore thumb:  'this is cool'.   While cool relates to passion and can sustain a lot of late hours of development, it does not necessarily relate to a sustainable business.  Ok, Apple may have proven that wrong at the perceptual level -  but they are the exception and certainly didn't start that way. 

Customers rarely buy because something is cool, they buy because they suffer a pain.  It is this transition from garage geek to a business that requires a heavy dose of marketing.   It is our job as marketers to align the solution to the need and make the pain go away.   

There are numerous ways to present a start-up, often rooted in financials, market sizing, and barriers to entry.  What I really want to hear in that first minute from entrepreneurs and innovators is:  "Here is the pain that really pissed me off."   Now if enough people suffer the same thing and they can solve it in a cool way, so much the better.  

1 comment:

David Locke said...

Cool is for the technical evangelism WOM, seats, not dollars. Cool is a long way from dollars.