Go to...

Know who you are and what you represent

Who am I?The other day I met Scott Simko, who I “knew” through This Week In Startups and Thomas Kiblin, CEO and Founder of Virtacore.  I met them as the founder of HueCubed, a web startup company offering a flashcard engine that we plan to scale like Weblogs, Inc. or Stackoverflow. (Create a niche product and then scale it in other vertical markets)  Our flagship product, PMPrep Flashcards, was released in March and I wanted to meet the people who are hosting our product(s).

Up to this point, I have introduced myself as Derek Huether, Project Management Professional® and adviser.  But these people don’t know me as that.  They were meeting me as Derek Huether, entrepreneur and founder of a web startup.  As a result, I stumbled when it was time to introduce myself.  Don’t make this mistake!

If you wear multiple hats in your organization, you may need to know who you are to different stakeholders.  Is your specialty in Waterfall, Agile, or Kanban?  Take a moment and imagine you are being introduced to someone.  What are you going to say?  This is part personal branding and part stakeholder management.  What I needed was a solid 30 second elevator pitch.  What’s the takeaway from this post? Know who you are and what you represent.  It may be different, based on the company you keep.

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of Enterprise Engagements at LeadingAgile. I'm super focused on results. But I also take the hand waving out of organizational transformations. I come from a traditional PM background but I don't give points for stuff done behind the scenes. The only thing that counts is what you get done and delivered. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon)

6 Responses to “Know who you are and what you represent”

  1. May 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    This is a great point Derek. Being in a similar position, I’ve been caught like that myself and know how it feels. What I did was create 3 different pitches.

    A “4th Grade” one-liner that almost everyone understands (“CrossPoint is MS Project on steriods”).

    A Twitter length description (“CP is a project, resource and collaboration mgmt tool with portfolio capabilities. Process agnostic, it provides flexible C&C”)

    And the 3rd is a longer version of the 2nd (won’t paste that in…)

    This way, I always have something that fits the time/person that I am meeting, and I can easily move up the scale from one to the other if there is any interest.

    One last comment. Know your target market! This almost always comes up as well, and just as you are patting yourself on the back for surviving the first,will put you face down just as quickly.

  2. May 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    This is a great point Derek. Being in a similar position, I’ve been caught like that myself and know how it feels. What I did was create 3 different pitches.

    A “4th Grade” one-liner that almost everyone understands (“CrossPoint is MS Project on steriods”).

    A Twitter length description (“CP is a project, resource and collaboration mgmt tool with portfolio capabilities. Process agnostic, it provides flexible C&C”)

    And the 3rd is a longer version of the 2nd (won’t paste that in…)

    This way, I always have something that fits the time/person that I am meeting, and I can easily move up the scale from one to the other if there is any interest.

    One last comment. Know your target market! This almost always comes up as well, and just as you are patting yourself on the back for surviving the first,will put you face down just as quickly.

  3. July 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Hi, Derek. Recently found your blog and I’m enjoying your posts. Because my niche is advertising and marketing, let me add one point.

    People don’t care what you do. They only care about what you can do for them.

    Therefore, craft your elevator pitch using the benefits of your product or service, not it’s features.

    • Derek Huether
      July 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      Valarie, thank you for the advice. I was actually asked to be on This Week in Startups today, to pitch on Jason’s shark tank. I had a schedule conflict and won’t be able to do the show (this time). My 60 second (general) pitch is ready. I identify my target market, explain the problem, and how my product will solve it. I really want to say WHY I want to solve the problem but I only have 60 seconds.

  4. July 13, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Hi, Derek. Recently found your blog and I’m enjoying your posts. Because my niche is advertising and marketing, let me add one point.

    People don’t care what you do. They only care about what you can do for them.

    Therefore, craft your elevator pitch using the benefits of your product or service, not it’s features.

    • Derek Huether
      July 13, 2010 at 10:39 am

      Valarie, thank you for the advice. I was actually asked to be on This Week in Startups today, to pitch on Jason’s shark tank. I had a schedule conflict and won’t be able to do the show (this time). My 60 second (general) pitch is ready. I identify my target market, explain the problem, and how my product will solve it. I really want to say WHY I want to solve the problem but I only have 60 seconds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *