My typical cocktail party conversation:
- What exactly does you company, Pie Digital, do?
- We make a product and service that makes it easy to install and maintain a home network.
If the questioner isn’t another entrepreneur, I clarify in non-elevator-pitch speak.
- You know, like installing a router and helping you add and manage computers, printers and other devices on your home network.
This usually elicits a tenuous affirmative.
I then ask,
- Have you ever had your Internet connection go down or something go wrong with your computer and had to spend an anguishing hour or more on the phone with some inept customer service rep trying to resolve the problem?
This scenario evokes immediate have-I-got-a-story-for-you resonance. The story is always the same: a recent home IT support issue involving the spending of copious amounts of time and/or money.
Somewhere during the exchange, the very Silicon Valley question is asked,
- Is that Pi like the number?
- No, ‘Pie’ as in ‘We make home networking easy as …”
I stop short and let the moment hang, waiting for the realization that usually comes with a broad smile
- … Pie.’ Ahhhhhhhh, I get it.
No matter how many times I have this conversation, it follows the same arc: vague interest, dim recognition, personal experience, aha!
For an even bigger aha, watch the video* that we created back in 2005 to humorously showcase the Pie business opportunity to more technically abled VCs who didn’t believe us when we said that the average Joe or Jane find it very difficult to (and will pay for someone to help them) install and maintain a home network.
*3-minute video is 50 seconds into the presentation that my business partner John Barnhill gave at DEMOFall’05.