Recursive Definitions

If you have a cool new startup that is going to launch and all you have to say about it to better describe it is “It’s Flickr+YouTube+Riya+[Enter a cool new startup with cool technology or hype here]” something is wrong with your pitch.

If you can’t describe your startup in layman’s terms without using the name of your competitors (or, in this case, the war casualties after you kill them all and win the internet web 2.0 war) you should really start to think twice about what you are actually doing.

I keep on seeing a lot of pitches on the web in the form of cover stories on high profile blogs that companies CEOs and founders keep on using some kind of a recursive definition – defining their own company by using the name of another company (or companies).

This recursiveness needs to stop otherwise there will be only one true definition for a company and everyone else will build their pitch on that definition and the definitions that are built upon it.

I know it is sometimes very hard to describe a cool new idea, especially if it is technically oriented and you need to explain it to a non-techie person.

Being able to actually do that will give you a couple of interesting things.
First, it will allow you to better articulate yourself for non-techies, potentially (depending on your idea) drawing them closer to the understanding you have of your ideas. This is good for startups that are web based and needs non-techie crowds to succeed.

Second, it will give you a better understanding of how you need to your idea. Every question or misunderstand a non-techie will have with your description is a potential for better understanding your audience and, therefore, improving your idea/company/product.

What do you think? Is it really that important or I just got pissed on seeing yet another pitch that is recursively described?