Persuade Like An Entrepreneur

Great talk title!  It reminds me of Muhammad Ali’s quote “Float like a butterfly, sting like a honeybee” which is probably what the speakers were going for!  I was particularly interested to hear Christina Tan speak, as we share the same alma mater (the University of Waterloo).  Her co-facilitator was Jamie Crabb, who works for Patreon.

It is difficult to make people care about your idea and draw resources towards it.  Presenting your pitch in a structured and persuasive way can address this challenge.  The art of persuasion is not specific to entrepreneurs; they just happen to be really good at it (the successful ones, anyway).  Jamie stated that when she needs to persuade her CEO to pursue a course of action, she and team have to gather so much data.  I was reminded of Allison Pearson’s novel I Don’t Know How She Does It:  Life of Working Mother, Kate Reddy.  Kate is a fund manager and her husband, Richard, explains to her that there is a difference between persuading her boss and persuading her in-laws.  He states that with her boss, if he buys her data, he’ll buy her analysis.  But with family, it’s a different story.

Entrepreneurs are consistently drawing in resources:  money, time and support.  They are skilled because their audience often doesn’t feel like they are hearing a pitch.  Workshop participants were asked to create their own pitch.  I discussed the Systers Wiki and why the blogs and notes within would be useful to participants who could not attend a particular lecture.

Christina played a video of one of the founders of Grobo (an automated gardening app) presenting his team’s idea.  She dissected his pitch into 6 parts:

  • Problem – people no longer trust the food they eat
  • Solution – grow one’s own food (but this is difficult to implement!)
  • Value Proposition – Grobo (the automated gardening app)
  • Competitive Advantage – modular design
  • Market Size
  • Target Customer

To be continued …




About Saranya Murthy

Voracious reader, aspiring writer, wordplay and personal growth enthusiast, English language and nature lover, 96.3FM fan, software developer
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