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Answering the "So, what do you do?" questions - Four Power Points

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Many articles are written to teach people how to do a perfect elevator pitch. But many do not hit the core. A lot of times when you meet investors you get to asked this question. How do you tackle this question with meaningful engagement with the questioner?

Remember four points:

Point 1: What is your vision and what is your mission?

Vision is "where you are in the future" not "what do you want the future to be". Mission is the "purpose of your endeavor". Vision is "why do you care" and mission is "who cares about you?".

Point 2: Who is your target audience and what do you provide uniquely for them?

Never try to please everyone or some mysterious strangers. If you want to please everyone, everyone will be amused by none will pay you.

Point 3: What products have you made and is it selling already?

Stop saying "I have an idea" or "I have an MVP". Take out your products, and demonstrate the UNIQUE MAGIC EFFECT right there. Not effect. Not unique effects. But unique, magical, effects. Effects can be enjoyment or solving a problem.

Point 4: Discuss your understanding of competitions, market dynamics, niche entry business strategy and YOUR TEAMS' unfair advantage.

Show that you are not a newbie.

Put your answers in a 1 minute power talk, which would go probably from second floor to 21st floor. If the person ask you to stay, then it worked.

If the elevator stops and the investors stops instead of just walking off, you can tell him the story of the startup - this is useful for baiting the next round of investors. Tell him how this is a fat field.

Don't WASTE PEOPLE's TIME by showing You are a newbie, you are a dreamer, you don't bother to investigate the market, you don't respect business, you are just trying to make your hobby fly by borrowing money.

Even if the investor is just going back to his home to rest, he is listening to you intently and just one minute is enough Don't assume your presence is harmless and you are just trying a chance. Don't use empty promise of big return with small or no investment.

Never do these:

  • never talk about your ideas;

  • never talk about your DREAM;

  • never say "I don't have money";

  • never ask "do you think it is a good idea"? If someone says "this is terrible idea", show him why he did not see your point.

  • never talk about the technology;

  • never say things like I will take what market share which is growing at what pace.

  • don't talk about how your competitors would just be over powered by you.


Identify one thing you want the audience to remember. Just one line.

How to create an elevator pitch with examples

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