elevator pitch

Discuss word origins and meanings.
Post Reply

elevator pitch

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:23 pm

<2013 “. . . the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo [[Canada]], a research center that’s part of a quixotic, grandiose effort . . . to invent a quantum computer and turn this city 70 miles from Toronto into a ‘Quantum Valley.’ . . But quantum mechanics is not exactly an easy elevator pitch. ‘As much as the region is a mecca for entrepreneurship, it’s a much different challenge to commercialize pure quantum technology.’”—MIT Technology Review, Vol. 116, No. 5,September/ October, page 92>
At first glance my guess was that the ‘pitch’ in elevator pitch, had something to do with baseball or cricket, but no. However, doing a Wordwizard search, I found that Bobinwales had this baby all wrapped up.

In the posting therapist: avatar?, Bob had shown that the relationship between ‘therapist:avatar’ and the phrase ‘The Rapist who is quick’ was key to finding the requested connection between therapist and avatar. Bob had reasoned that if you rewrite ‘therapist’ one gets ‘the rapist’ and similarly ‘avatar’ produces ‘a vatar,’ which obviously suggested to him ‘vator’ for ‘vatar.’ Then, by simply looking up ‘vator’ (Vator) in Wikipedia (no luck involved) he found that it is a reference to the term ‘elevator pitch,’ which yielded his claimed association with ‘quick.’ Really a quite straightforward line of reasoning! (<;) And in the process, as a bonus, he provided us with our sought-after definition:

ELEVATOR PITCH (also elevator speech and elevator statement): Used in the technology industry to describe a brief corporate or investment presentation that can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (thirty seconds to two minutes). [[And that’s quick!]]

PITCH noun: A line of talk designed to persuade; an often high-pressure sales presentation. (American Heritage Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Online)

Turns out that Wikipedia had a separate listing for elevator pitch.

The Harvard Business School expressed the concept nicely in a tutorial titled HBS Elevator Pitch Builder: The Art of Pitchcraft: “Whether you are trying to raise capital, promote your company, or promote yourself, it’s essential to have an elevator pitch. You need to communicate your main messages quickly, clearly, and distinctly to someone who doesn’t even know you. A good pitch takes planning and practice to deliver it quickly, on the spot, and under pressure.”

The following quotes are from archived sources:

Note: After checking a fair number of sources, the quotes I could come up with suggest that the terms came into existence circa the early 1990s.
<1994 “Be prepared to articulate the plan's key points in a professional presentation, commonly called an elevator speech, of no more than 15 minutes.”—Miami Herald (Florida), 14 November>

<1995 “Make an Elevator Statement -- I once read an excellent book called ‘The High Tech Marketing Companion [[1993]],’ by Dee Kiamy . . . , which suggests that every product needs an elevator statement.”—TidBits.com, 29 May>

<1996 “The project vision should then be translated into an ‘elevator pitch.’ An elevator pitch is based on a scenario in which you, the project manager, share an elevator with the person who has budget authority for the project. There are 20 seconds available to describe the project. If the project and business goals can be concisely described in a sentence or two, it’s a good indicator that a clear vision exists.”—InfoWorld, Vol. 18, No. 49, page 68, 2 December>

<1999 “60-second drill >Entrepreneurs show off ‘elevator pitches’ meant to land investors: Jay Wilkins and Marc Lind each had just 60 seconds . . . to describe their Internet start-up companies, the market opportunities for them, and why they will prosper. Using a technique dubbed ‘elevator pitches’ to win over potential multimillion-dollar investors, . . .”— Boston Globe (Massachusetts), 1 October>

<2002 “Those taking part are expected to talk about their e-business plan in a ten-minute ‘elevator pitch’ presentation, as if they were caught in a lift with Microsoft boss Bill Gates and were trying to sell him the idea.”— The Mail on Sunday (London, England), 12 May>

<2005 “. . . most of their ‘news’ [comes] from radio and TV that dehydrates all of the information into a simple elevator pitch.”—Public Relations Quarterly, 1 July>

<2008 “A Wisconsin company that says its medical device could prevent some deaths took top honors at the Elevator Pitch Olympics on Thursday.”—The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wisconsin) 7 November>

<2009 “‘You have to have your elevator statement or people won't listen to you,’ Schneider said.”—UPI Space Daily (Washington, D.C.), 23 February>

<2010 “The tech crowd thought the latest occupant of the White House was one of their own. An enigmatic politician with strong convictions, Mr Obama in many ways resembled the driven young spirits that venture capitalists love to take a punt on. And during the presidential campaign he wowed Silicon Valley with an elevator pitch that envisaged using social media and other technologies developed there to fashion a new and radical political order.”—The Economist (U.S.), 30 October>

<2012 “The Elevator Speech: Why did God put Barack Obama on this earth? If you had asked that question between his 2004 convention address and his 2008 campaign, the answer could have been summarized in a short elevator speech.”—New York Times, 12 September>

<2013 (book review) “To begin with, Lauren Beukes (author) had an idea so perfectly simple it sounds like an elevator pitch: ‘time-travelling serial killer.’”—The Independent (London), 22 May)
______________________

Ken – September 8, 2013
Post actions:

Re: elevator pitch

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:36 am

Meanwhile, here was I thinking it was all about the angles of a plane's flight surfaces...
Post actions:

Re: elevator pitch

Post by Bobinwales » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:36 am

Wow, I am flattered. Ken Greenwald actually quoted me. Ken's research is always phenomenal, and I have no doubt is often used by other researchers, so to have my name there is a great source of pride. Thank you Ken.
Post actions:
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: elevator pitch

Post by plwimsett » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:01 am

An elevator pitch seems like something which should be avoided in golf?
Post actions:

Re: elevator pitch

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:17 am

Too much lift in the loft, I imagine.
Post actions:

Re: elevator pitch

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:15 pm

So an elevator pitch is shorter than a stepped report?
Post actions:

Re: elevator pitch

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:06 am

.. every young stud should have an elevator pitch for when he shares the lift with a likely lass on the way to the rooftop club .. also in use when she is only at the bar long enough to buy a drink ..

WoZ in a state of elevation
Post actions:
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: elevator pitch

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:20 am

Young stud = score peon?
Post actions:

Re: elevator pitch

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:02 pm

Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer recently launched a new album.

The Twitter "hashtag" was supposed to say "Susan Album Party", it actually said susanalbumparty. Oops!
Note to non UK English users, a 'bum' is not an itinerant!
Last edited by Bobinwales on Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Post actions:
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: elevator pitch

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:37 pm

That's a properhashtag.
Post actions:

End of topic.
Post Reply