Can you pitch your company in a tweet? This is known as a twitpitch. In fact it is a great discipline if not always practical: can you compelling summarize your value proposition in 140 characters or less? Never mind sitting in a conference room delivering an investor presentation, way too long. Never mind elevator pitches, who has 30 seconds to listen to you? This is a passing-in-the-corridor pitch, about 20 words maximum. But remember, you are not trying to convey everything about the company as you pass in the corridor, you are trying to give them a reason to stop and talk to you.

This doesn’t apply only to investor pitches, this applies to presenting your company and products to customers or prospects. This is an even more extreme version of City Slickers marketing ,where you must work out the one thing that is really important, but it really forces you to understand your value proposition. I would go as far as to say that if you can’t do this then don’t understand the true value of your product or company.

Obvious exercise for the reader. Take the product that you are most involved in. If you are a CEO, it’s your company as a vision for the future. If you are in product marketing, it’s your product. If you are in engineering, you can play too; you need to know what the true value of your product is (hint: it’s not the feature you are working on). If you are in finance, it is your company as an investment. Hey, even if you are the receptionist (congratulations for reading this blog then) you need to be able to answer the question “what do you do?” when someone calls and obviously you aren’t going to fire up the projector to do so.

And if you are unemployed (like me) then your product is you. Aart de Geus says ‘hi’ to you at DVcon. You want to work for Synopsys. What is your 20 word pitch as to intrigue him enough to have a longer conversation with you. Don’t forget it’s not just what you did in the past, it’s what you can do in the future.

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