Be focused on something that will have high value to someone elseRead more...
Charlene Li's advice: Keep it short and don't try to boil the ocean
The best pitches are typically done within five to seven minutes, according to Charlene Li, founder of digital strategies consulting firm Altimeter, and host of VatorNews' show Socialize This. As a former analyst at Forrester and a sought-after consultant in the social media space, Li gets pitched all the time by entrepreneurs seeking advice or coverage.
In this segment, Li offers up advice to entrepreneurs when they pitch to her.
The first piece of advice is to keep it short. Don't spend 10 minutes explaining social networking to Li. She practically wrote the book on it. I'm not kidding. She was a co-author of Groundswell, a book on social media. "You don't have to convince me that social media is a big deal," she said. The best pitches answer three things in under seven minutes, she said. Those are: 1) What's the problem? 2) How are you going to solve it? 3) How are you going to make money?
Li also cautions entrepreneurs to not work 10 hours a day. If it's more than 40 hours, and pushing 60 hours, she asks, "How can you sustain that?" The people with a good handle on their business are the ones who also have a good handle on their personal life. Also, if an entrepreneur is working that many hours, it's a sign that they're not focused on one problem. The biggest problem Li sees entrepreneurs having is that they have a tendency to want to boil ocean. With that type of problem to solve, it's no wonder they're working long hours.
As for integrating social media into their product or service, Li advises entrepreneurs to make sure they understand what type of relationship they want with their user or what type of relationship they want users to have with one another. Define the relationship and then apply the right technologies, she said. And, not all startups need a social component. While it's good to have one, it's better not to have one than have a social strategy/component that's just tacked on.
Read more from our "Lessons and advice" series
Factors to consider when taking debt vs equityRead more...
What I learned as an entrepreneur, and a humanRead more...
Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs
Joined Vator on
Kabam is an interactive entertainment company leading the next wave in social gaming, developing and publishing massively multiplayer social games (MMSG’s), including the popular and critically praised title Kingdoms of Camelot and Dragons of Atlantis. Our studios focus on combining the best elements of traditional and social gaming to appeal to a growing audience of players looking for deeper, more engaging social games. The first wave of Kabam’s new games for Facebook and leading media sites have been widely recognized for their depth of play and social interaction.
Kabam started out as Watercooler, whose aim was to make connecting with your friends, family, and other fans of your favorite TV shows or Sports teams more compelling than ever before. By bringing fan communities into the context of your social network, Watercooler enables more engaging sports and TV fan experiences. Fans are able to access Watercooler's FanSection and TVLoop communities no matter where they are on the web: Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, MyYahoo, and TVLoop.com. Over 35 million sports and TV fans have joined Watercooler's fan applications making it the largest online fan community.
Kabam was founded by a team of social networking and community software professionals in Mountain View, CA, in 2006. The company has raised a Series A round of financing from Canaan Partners of Menlo Park, CA.
Joined Vator on
What is Wetpaint?
Wetpaint powers free fan-powered websites that are available to anyone and easy to use. In fact, that’s one of the many things that sets Wetpaint apart from other sites on the web. Creating a Wetpaint site is as simple as 1-2-3, so anyone can start a free website they can then share with their family, friends, and the friends they haven’t even met...yet
Starting is Easy
Start by choosing what topic you want your site to be about, then pick from a variety of site styles, whether you want your site to be public or private, and who you want to contribute (everyone, or just a few friends?).
Building is a Snap
Once your site is launched, adding content is easy with the EasyEdit Toolbar. You’ll see that editing a Wetpaint page works very much like a word processor: You can “click” on any open page and start typing. Even better, you can also add photos, YouTube videos, polls . . . it’s all as simple as “click and type.”
Join in the Fun
Not ready to start your own Wetpaint site? No worries...visit Wetpaint.com and search for a Wetpaint community that’s right for you. (We’re pretty sure there’s something for out there for you; people just like you have started more than 1.5 million Wetpaint sites.) Join the site and add your two cents to the conversation.
Joined Vator onFamplosion is a service for parents. We are aggregating and organizing local stuff to do and places to go with the kids so parents have a single source for finding the fun and important things to do locally. We are currently in alpha with content for the Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, New York City and Atlanta markets. We expect to launch the beta version of our consumer facing site in mid November. We are also currently building the tools require to start executing on our business development and revenue plans. We are a team of two supported by consultants for various functions in the product development phase. We have been financing our development with an Angel round and expect to be searching for Round A financing in the New Year as the product/platform will be ready to start scaling.