A Sample 140-Character Company Pitch

Using a Twitter tweet as a standard, in this post I suggested that the new company pitch is 140 characters.  I offered a 140-character company pitch worksheet for those who wanted to give this new business communique a try.

My father, Robert Giles, did.  He shared his process with me via e-mail and interview:

He looked at the worksheet but felt constrained by filling in the letter boxes.  Instead, he started with his elevator pitch and used the character count tool in Microsoft Word to begin to chisel down to 140-characters.

The proposed Rural System unifies 50 small rural- and natural-resource-related businesses, adding them to comprehensive management of private rural land ownerships.  It manages land and water, and provides services, products, and other benefits. It offers new employment and a community tax base. It’s a system using computers and the Internet in the business end of the work, with big financial  payoffs being in planning, decision-making, sequenced value-adding strategies, and efficiencies from using our computer maps and satellite data. It provides comprehensive services for using and developing land for sustained annual land-owner profits for the long run. Land unit clusters become part of a worldwide franchise to meet growing energy, environmental, and human needs. 
662 characters

Rural System provides 50 natural-resource-related businesses and services for comprehensively managing private lands. It offers private financial gains, employment, and small community tax bases. Strength in dynamic planning and sequencing value-adding strategies forms rural clusters within a socially useful franchise.
281 characters

A high-tech, modern farm management company for profit, employment, and town stability through dynamic planning, linked value additions, and franchise strength.
140 without the title

Once he reduced his elevator pitch to 140 characters, he decided to see how low he could go.  His thoughts after each effort are in parentheses.

Innovative farm cluster enterprises and services for lasting profit, employment, and community stability.    (Could be a sub-title on the letterhead.)
93

Good Farms for the Future for Good Folks  (Might be a good title.)
33

Toward a Good Rural Future  (Might be a good new website name.)
22

When he got to…

Horse Bridle Corn Will Work (That doesn’t tell anybody anything.)

…he quit.

Robert Giles’s conclusions:

The character count in Word is a harsh master.

140 characters must have been thought of by non-reading graduates of our universities.

New River Valley Plumbing and Heating has already "spent" 32 characters…they’ll never make it.  Is all that’s left "Have wrench will work"?

A company pitch tells what a company does.  For answering the question, "What is your company doing now?", 140 characters might be of value.

In addition to pitching Rural System, Robert Giles, a Virginia Tech Professor Emeritus, writes the blogs The Survivalists and Faunal Force.

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