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By Chen Lupescu, IoT & Smart Technologies Entrepreneur, Mentor, Strategic Advisor

A proper description of your company and product – the first significant step on the road to success. Make sure you do it right!

Innovations emerge constantly in the high-tech industry. Every day entrepreneurs build companies with the belief that they have invented the ultimate technology that will change our lives, or at least add some positive value to it. Startups and entrepreneurs in the security, HLS and dual-use technology fields often strive to revolutionize public safety, emergency response, law enforcement, battlefield performances, etc.

The hope is that investors, leading industries, and defense agencies will see the value embedded in the initiative and will be willing to place their bets on it.

Some of the initiatives indeed have a real potential to improve some aspects of our lives, or in our national security, and in some cases even make a significant change. Some of the initiatives and inventions add just a minor value, if any. In any case, one of the first steps in realizing the potential of the initiative is to clearly describe the idea and the product.

Success or failure of an initiative depends very often on the initial presentation of the company and the product. Breakthrough technologies and big ideas might be missed sometimes just because of being misrepresented, so that people that are exposed to the project do not really understand what the poet meant.

From personal experience, when I meet with entrepreneurs or visit a company’s websites, it sometimes takes me a while to understand what the company is doing and what is the product or service that they are selling. Companies’ websites are often text-intensive, the entrepreneurs describe the product in buzzwords and generic terms, and it is often quite difficult to understand exactly what’s behind it.

Here are three main traps in describing a company / product and how to avoid them:

  1. The Trap: Description is too long – do you use more than five sentences to explain what your company is doing and what your product is? If so, rethink. You may lose the attention of the person standing in front of you.

Solution – KEEP IT SHORT – write a short sentence or two that clearly describe what your company is doing. This is your business card. Got the attention? Great! From here you can elaborate per need.

  1. The trap: Description is too technical – many entrepreneurs have technical background and tend to elaborate on the technology itself. Investors, partners and even customers might get lost in the details and the technical terms.

Solution – KEEP IT SIMPLE – describe your technology in simple terms. Focus on the need that you are addressing. Hard for you to do it? Think how you would describe your product to a child.

  1. The Trap: Description is too generic – entrepreneurs tend to use buzzwords and bombastic terms to describe their products – “innovative and unique”, “end-to-end solution”, “breakthrough technology”, “Internet of Things”. Words that are commonly used and it’s hard to understand what is really behind them.

Solution – KEEP IT STRAIGHT – try to focus on describing the added value and the specific innovation that your product brings. Avoid using generic and bombastic words that do not add to the understanding of the product.

Have you succeeded in describing your company and product in a concise, simple and clear way? You significantly increased your chances to get the right attention.

Good luck!