Blog Archives

Perfecting the art of the pitch

Greetings DMSers. Nice job with the mini-pitches yesterday about your markets. Our next one will be Thursday, Nov. 12 and will focus on revenue generation. You’ll have 3 minutes total to talk up how you’re going to monetize your concept.

Since we’re focusing on The Pitch (remember it’s two parts: the verbal and the deck), I want to share some resources that can help in the development of your story:

The exact pitch deck strategy I’ve used to raise $125M since 2011 by Mitchell Harper. While some of his content is beyond the scope of our class exercise, several tips are really worth using.

He has another post, How to nail your investor pitch and walk away with multiple term sheets, with great advice also. Check out #5 through #9, which all apply in some way to our assignment.

Finally, I mentioned a great piece in This American Life about a journalist pitching an investor on the streets of San Francisco. Listen to that one here. Dive into the “I’ve got 99 problems and a pitch is one” segment. Great storytelling.

Tomorrow is all open lab time to work on the Money & Marketing Plan and your product mockup.

Onward,

@debrajchico

Dabbling in design and visiting with The Hatch Agency

Greetings DMIers. We’re heading into Week 7 and we’ve got a fantastic week ahead.

First off, be sure to click over to the Homework and Resources tabs. Grab the revised versions of the course schedule and the DMI 1 Pagers. We’ll briefly chat about these at the start of our next session.

Dabbling in Design Tuesday

Most of Tuesday’s class session will be open lab time to work on two big design projects you have:

  • Homework 6, which is your logo design, and
  • Your overall product design. A draft version is due before Thanksgiving break.

You should check out this very useful article from Canva, 25 Epic Design Tips for Non-Designers.

You can use any software you choose for these design tasks. The lab has full access to Adobe’s Creative Cloud versions of Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Adobe also offers a free 30-day trial of this software, which may prove helpful in November.

In terms of your product mockups, you can also explore the wide variety of wireframing tools available. Last fall’s group of students experimented with JustinMind and Balsamiq. But, there are many, many other options out there. Check out these articles to get a glimpse of the range:

The Hatch’s EmmKrem Visits Thursday

We have another amazing J&PR alumna visiting with us Thursday. Emmalee Kremer graduated from the news option in 2011. Currently, Emmalee is a senior account executive at The Hatch Agency in San Francisco. She’s worked with journalists from Wired, The New York Times, Re/code and Tech Crunch among many others.

Emmalee specializes in working with high-tech startups and venture capital companies. She’s going to talk about life working for startups in the public relations and marketing space. Since this is a big part of your Money & Marketing Plan, I’m sure you’ll have lots of questions to toss her way. Follow her on Twitter @EmmKrem.

Best,

@DebraJChico

The Value of Talking to Your Market

Greetings, DMI class. I hope you found yesterday’s class session helpful in brainstorming your initial new product concepts. It’s interesting to see the direction that everyone is moving in.

Tomorrow we’ll be focusing on conducting original research with your potential market on your concepts. This may help to determine if your idea is just that — an idea — or if there is potential to make it something more. Briggs Chapter 5 hit on this point well.

We also discussed the notion of product-market fit. This article from Entrepreneur might be helpful while you start to contemplate your ideas further: 3 Steps to Determine Product-Market Fit.

When we did the sticky test many of you reported that the “Unexpected” and “Story” traits were a challenge at this point. Talking to your market may yield some interesting ideas on those fronts. I found this NiemanLab article that highlights an unexpected element quite well: Soon, publishers will be able to determine when smartphone users are bored and push content at them.

The NiemanLab is a fantastic source to dive into. Remember that your final concept must have a significant news element built into it. As you continue to develop your idea think about how you’re going to include journalistic elements: news storytelling, generating original content via blog posts like The Atlantic is doing, or other news content formats like podcasting, perhaps partnerships to showcase great content from other journalists, etc. And, some of you are looking at localization aspects – how can you build a hyperlocal news element into your idea?

Best,
@DebraJChico

How do you consume the news?

Greetings DMSers. One of our discussion topics for Wednesday’s class is to examine how we consume news. From this discussion we can see where we as a group fit into some of the latest research findings from the Pew Research Center and how we’re impacting the financial bottom line of news organizations.

I’d like you to spend some time before class pondering these types of questions:

  • In your average day, when do you check the news?
  • How do you access the news – via TV, radio, tablet device, in print for magazines or newspapers?
  • Do you pay for any news subscriptions? If yes, which ones and why are those outlets worth your money?
  • What are your preferred news sources and why?
  • Do you find yourself going to different sources for different types of news?

By examining how consumers access and digest news, we can begin to understand both the challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs in the digital journalism space.

Best,

@DebraJChico