How to Describe What Your Company Does, and Why it Will Win

Too many startups (and not-so-startups) struggle describing what they do, why they’re different, and why they’ll win. Today I ran across this useful template for helping in that process:

Part 1: What We Do
  • For [insert customer company/department/type here]
  • Who want to [insert what prospective customers want to fix/improve here]
  • Our product is [insert how your technology helps the people in line 1 do line 2]

Part 2: Why We’ll Win

  • Unlike [insert competitors here, whether direct or indirect]
  • Our product [insert customer- and competitor-relevant points of differentiation here]
  • As supported by [insert technology that underlies this differentiation here]
  • And protected by [insert protectable IP, unique relationships, etc.]


  1. Okay, Paul, I’ll play along! Here are my answers for Findory:
    Part 1: What We Do
    For mainstream web users
    Who want to find news, weblogs, and other information online
    Our product recommends news articles, weblogs, and other information based on individual behavior and interests
    Part 2: Why We’ll Win
    Unlike other news sites and customizable home pages
    Our product surfaces the information people need with less effort
    As supported by our proprietary personalization engine
    And protected by two pending patents

  2. For anyone
    Who wants to manage their social life and connect with friends
    Our product is an event management and search service
    Unlike others in the space
    Our product effectively manages events and venues
    As supported by relevancy, accessibility, and personalization
    And protected by a strong context for interaction in the community

  3. I first saw this formula in CROSSING THE CHASM, where there’s a good explanation of it.

  4. Thanks Brian. As I said in my original post, I ran across it recently (in a d/diligence document), but wasn’t sure the source.

  5. How about going one step further (perhaps the Crossing the Chasm article already does this) and having multiple “descriptions” prepared… one for investors, one for friends and family (who likely don’t get the space your in), one for users/customers, one for space experts, one for… etc.
    BTW, I’ve seen people prepare these “30 second” speeches on scrap paper, which was part of my inspiration for developing, where you can (for free) go in and put as many 30 second descriptions as you want.