How to pitch a brilliant idea Kimberly D. Elsbach HBR, 2003
Premise • Entrepreneurs come up with great pitches to show how their plans or concepts are attractive, timely durable, and high-margin • Corporate decision makers don’t “get it” • Why?
3 prototypes • Showrunner: “professionals” who combine creative inspiration with production and technical know-how • Artist: quirky and unpolished, prefer creativity over reality • Neophyte: tend to be – or act as if they were – young, inexperienced, and naïve, but are prepared to “do the impossible.” Project yourself as one of these three creative types and convince the “catcher” s/he is a creative collaborator and you improve your chances of selling the idea
Traits we use to stereotype “creatives” • Unconventionality • Intuitiveness • Sensitivity • Narcissism • Passion • Youth We use visual and verbal matches with these models and remember only the characteristics that identify the pitcher as a particular type
How to succeed • Catchers overwhelmingly look for showrunners • Artists and neophytes can wind through enchantment and charm • Showrunners are also the most dangerous because they can blind the catcher through glitz