Keep it simple…

“Any damn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”

― Pete Seeger

Social activist and folk singer hit the nail with his famous hammer with this one. How often do we encounter a ‘pitch’ from a company or individual and after it is over, you have know idea what they said. Often we this its our fault, you know we aren’t smart enough to understand them.

Don’t kid yourself, if you don’t understand, its not your problem its theirs.  Try this on for size:

“The parking infrastructure of the past was disconnected, single purpose, opaque, and unable to serve the needs of today’s smart cities. We are building parking infrastructure for future of mobility, with technology that connects the entire ecosystem’s supply of parking assets with the demand of users.”

Do you have a clue what this company does? Software, hardware, both? What is it that makes the company unique, except perhaps its inability to describe in a couple of sentences what it does.

I tell this story often but I sat in on a presentation of a ‘startup’ and it was 45 minutes into the presentation before I realized it provided on street pay by cell services. Their ‘pitch’ was so oriented to a Silicon Valley and an attempt to garner venture capital that they neglected to explain what it was they did. After all, Silicon Valley Bank built its success on their true understanding of the underpinnings of the companies in which it invested – Oh wait.

Pete Seeger was a musician, folk singer and activist. He would not compare himself with 160 IQ Albert Einstein. But they had one thing in common, a belief in simplicity. The renowned physicist most famous quote: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” I wonder if the company I mentioned above understands just what it is doing.


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