15:40 PM

Got A Minute? Pitch It: Silicon Valley Minute Launch...

A company's pitch is its most valuable communication it answers: "Who are you and what do you do?"

I meet with hundreds of companies every year, not just from Silicon Valley but from all over the world. They are all passionate about their ventures and about their products and services. Yet many of them will take half-an-hour to explain what they do.

And in that half-an-hour I will learn more about their competitors than I will about them. They often don't know that they are not communicating well.

Concise, clear communication, is vital to the success of any venture. It is the most valuable piece of communications that any company possesses.

And it is also the most difficult to master. I know it is tough because I've been there myself.

When I left the Financial Times in May 2004, I took most of the summer off to set up as a media entrepreneur. I had many lunches and dinners with friends and industry contacts and I told them what I wanted to do.

It took me half-an-hour to tell them about Silicon Valley Watcher and my plans. And I usually left people confused . . . and I felt confused myself.

It took me the whole summer to distill my pitch into my Silicon Valley Minute: "Silicon Valley Watcher is an online news magazine reporting on the business and culture of Silicon Valley." It's evolved a little beyond that to "the business of media and technology" but it is still way under a minute.

It sounds simple, and it should sound simple, but we all know that simple is tough.

Last year I set up a little experiment, a side project: Silicon Valley Minute to help companies with their pitch. I'd had the domain name for a while.

I'm relaunching Silicon Valley Minute. Take a look at these five posts. Not long after they did their Silicon Valley Minute, three of these companies were acquired by Cisco, Google and Oracle. Five more posts next week, and more. Here is one of them: Securent - Rajiv Gupta, CEO (acquired by Cisco).

I will be shooting lots of video "minutes" as I move around the valley and the conferences and also posting them here on Silicon Valley Watcher.

And if you want to make a video minute of your company I'll post it up for free, just send me the video player embed code and the description of your company from your web site, including links. I won’t edit it at all– after all it's your pitch.

I’m hoping Silicon Valley Minute can help companies anywhere, not just in Silicon Valley, or even the tech sector, hone their pitch and maybe get some feedback. And in the process, it might help them succeed.

Having a decent pitch doesn’t require any startup capital and it might even get you some. I look forward to viewing your Silicon Valley minutes!

Please send your Silicon Valley Minute, with your video embed code plus text description, to publish@siliconvalleyminute.com.

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If you need professional help creating your Silicon Valley Minute, or any video service at all, please contact SF Media Collective. This is a team of people that I worked with at Podtech.net and includes other top video services experts handling all aspects of creation, distribution and attention.