Thursday, January 13, 2005

Elevator Pitches

Elevator pitches are 30 second explanations of ideas. Croquet still needs a good one. Its not for lack of trying that we don't yet have a good one. This is because it is a very complex idea with many parts. What we probably need to do is tailor a set of pitches with each one oriented towards a particular audience type.

As noted earlier in this blog (Like an Elephant), the perception, if not value, of Croquet is very much different to different people. So, I thought it might be useful - and perhaps a bit entertaining - to have us use this blog as a way of collecting some elevator pitches from the members of our emerging community.

So here is the challenge: Please post to the comments what you believe to be an good elevator pitch for all or some aspect our project. It would be great if you would sign your contribution.

Should be interesting...


Anonymous said...

To find new "elevator pitches" it may be helpful to look for the questions, croquet may answer. The questions should be one which (in theory) all users of computers or even all people living in a information driven world may have:

- how can I collect and order my own information ?
- how can I find needed information ?
- how can I explain my information to others ?
- how can I express and automate my information processing ?

or short Collecting, Finding, Explanation, Processing.

Another important aspect is the question: "what do I miss ?" in the sense of "where could the world be better ?". If related to the questions above, it should be helpful to detect ways of communicate ideas. Ideas need a problem to come to existence.

And here is a problem. How many people really think they have a problem...Often I must observe that many people says "well, its technology, it could not be better", it seems the have given up the hope that there could be some better, or they don't see a possibility how it could be better. So one important "elevator pitch" would be: "Think different !"

And for me that's the point, because any "elevator pitches" should not only do the statement "a new way of word processor" or "new way of games", and this may be the reason why people project the idea of croquet to such small slices. "Elevator pitches" should simply tell "your problem - your way for solution".

Now to get not too long, I suggest "elevator pitches" as answer to the questions above by making them more precise for special group of people, special problems, special cultures, like the icons in elevators say "Want to go to car ? Well, just here!". And unbound from too deep technology thinking.


(, btw, the anonymous comment fo "Dump the WWW" was mine, I was too fast with "Publish" button ;-)

Howard Stearns said...

Croquet is a radical new computer operating system. It brings people together to play in teams, to work in groups, and to learn in communities.

Ideas can be spontaneously shared. Imagine an entire class solving a problem together in video conference. Every student also sees not only the same live sketches, documents and simulations, but can participate in their solution and creation. The virtual classroom suddenly becomes more participatory than a physical lecture hall. While current hardware might limit such classes to several hundred students, an unlimited number of classes can be in session at the same time, and each class can go on indefinitely.

[35 seconds. At this point, you either get a "Tell me more," or you don't.]

We already have a working proof-of-concept that is being used by developers worldwide. Our sophisticated 3D graphics engine makes navigation and operation play like a video game, except that lots of players on machines around the world can play together. They can share ordinary 2D applications on flat screens within the 3D space.

Our immediate goal is to make the system powerful enough to allow developers to use the system itself as the tool for its own further development – cooperatively creating and sharing its own code in real-time.

Croquet runs as an ordinary application on top of Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. The guts have also been run on PDA’s and embedded chips. The whole thing, with source, is available for free and without restriction.

Anonymous said...

One more try:

Croquet is an information universe. In this universe you can move and look, you can collect and organize, alone or with others. You can modify or even build new elements for this universe, using some of the kits offered or doing it brick for brick. You don't need any special PC, operating system or location, You need only ideas.

- Hans (

Anonymous said...

A more business-oriented pitch (not that I think this is the right/wrong direction for Croquet):

You can put your business strategists, marketing people, design and production engineers, finance and accounting, along with anyone else you would like, into a single secured virtual room all at once for brainstorming, or allowing them to come and go as they please for project lifetime interaction. In that room, they have available spreadsheets, charts, presentations, CAD drawings, Web access, and a variety of other tools to promote the free exchange and documentation of ideas and research. The room remains there, secure and intact, whether anyone is in it or not, until you destroy it. Now imagine as many rooms like that as you could dream up uses for, and you're starting to play Croquet. The only drawback - everyone in the room looks like Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts is on her way! Whoops, did I say that out loud?

Darius said...

Some descriptions of what an “elevator pitch” should be: Briefly:

Practice and perfect it.

1. Assume short buildings.
Don't allow your pitch to last more than a minute.2. Put a tag on it. Joos recommends starting with a tag line -- a wordplay to pique interest in your pitch.3. Solve a problem.
4. Turn adversity into opportunity.
5. Lay out the benefits.
6. Conclude with a call to action.
7. Make it tangible.
Throughout your pitch, talk in tangibles, not abstractions. Frame the problem, your unique solution, and the benefits your company will bring to the man on the street. Keep your pitch short, and keep it at a level people understand viscerally.8. Show your passion.

1. Be Concise
2. Solve a Problem
3. Tell Them What They Want to Hear
4. Speak in Plain English
5. Grab the Listener's Attention
6. Ask Qualifier Questions
7. Tailor Your Pitch to Your Audience
8. Show Your Passion
9. Conclude With a Call to Action
10. Tell a Consistent Story

1. What is your product or service?
2. Who is your market?
3. What is your revenue model?
4. Who is behind the company?
5. Who is your competition?
6. What is your competitive advantage?

Darius said...

First try. Too abstract, but an platform or envirnment is really a structure to host abstractions. :)Everyone working with computers do so because they are creating, changing, and communicating content (business data, text, analysis results, art, sound, video, controlling software, and so on) or because they are learning something.

Current PC consumer and programmer environments make us “jump through hoops” on the way to creating and understanding PC content. “Croquet changes the hoops into doorways… intimately and simultaneously connecting people to their ideas and people to each other,” all without any of the usual barriers at every level in the PC. If we want to deeply understand and control math, we want to live in a “mathland” creating math stories. This is true with all the content we create. We want our metaphors or computer models to perfectly match or simulate what we intensely care about and be able to touch them in just that format.

The current PC experience is frustrating for most, prohibitive for others, and time consuming for the rest. This all takes away from what we, who use the computer, really want to do… create the content or build on top of what we’ve learned.

Croquet removes these typical barriers:
• conflicting visuals, poor metaphors
• major differences in how you create any multimedia content
• complex programmer tools and languages and the over complex logic they represent
• diverse, incompatible data formats
• saving/storing/sending of the data
• underlying operating system platforms
• rapidly sharing new advances and discoveries

In Croquet, the visual models, data models, and behavior models of your ideas and your PC content “just live there together” to be molded by you and everyone in your team, group, department, classroom… simultaneously, as we do in real life. The software programs or content behaviors are “just there” for you to mold in any open computer language. You can create, share, or use other’s tools for finding and viewing on the fly. No separate applications with incompatible ways to see and change your content (though it can still share its content in legacy formats with those legacy applications).

PC’s have changed our social/business/home life because they are general purpose, understandable, improvable, and available everywhere we are in life. Croquet makes the current crop of PC’s more much more general purpose, more understandable, more quickly improvable, and more universally available… all working together to even greater benefit.

Legacy developers were limited by hardware and their technical training about working within those limits. Technical advances have removed those limits but the software environments they create have not advanced beyond those limits.

To save us and our children frustration and time, we must help everyone move to the next level where we all comfortably live with and be surrounded by our content, any time we choose, and thereby become masters of our content at home, in business, and as participating members of an advancing society.

Jim Phelps said...

Pitch 1:
Croquet is to the World Wide Web what the Photocopier is to the office. Yes, it is a technology that allows you to replicate and share information. More importantly, it is the place where you run into others, have conversations and share what your are working on. Croquet lets you stand next to your content and say to those who are surfing with you, "see here, this is what I was thinking" and they can reply with a nod or questions or a hearty round of applause. Croquet brings gathering together, discussing and sharing back to information technology.

Pitch 2:

The World Wide Web is eating a frozen pizza by yourself. You get food. You get substance. But you miss the social aspects of dining. Croquet is throwing a potluck dinner party with the world or with just your closest friends. Everyone brings their own content to the conversation. The gathering, socializing, talking, pointing and discussing are as important as the consuming.

- Jim

thibaud said...

Croquet is to the Web+Windows GUI as the world of Oz is to B/W photographs of Dorothy's farm.

Croquet makes computing useful and relevant to a mass audience by making the act of computing more like the ways people actually work together in the real world to learn, build, and share information. In croquet, people aren't "users"; they're creators working within trusted networks. They:

--see and manipulate 3-dimensional images, not static web pages;

--interact with representations of people, not just text boxes;

--have rich, textured conversations like the ones you have around a table or a room instead of then-he-said then-she-said messages.

Croquet will bring real community and collaboration to personal computing. Any organization that depends on rich human interactions based on visual information and high trust among individuals will find value in using croquet to replicate off-line collaborative efforts.

Carl Gundel said...

I feel compelled to ask if the name Croquet can add anything to the discovery of an elevator pitch. Does the game of Croquet have important ideas that can help? What are they? If not, is there a better name?

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