Note to Tech Entrepreneurs: Dumb It Down A Little

Entrepreneurs often think they are pretty smart, otherwise, they likely wouldn’t attempt to create a business through a process that is so difficult. They love technology and you build tech and web products that do really cool things. Whether you are an entrepreneur, sales guy or hacker in the tech space, you know the technology of your product and its features. The problem is that you probably often forget that your customers or users don’t understand technology nearly as much as you. To be honest, most times, they don’t care how it works. All they care about is that it works. However, this technological disconnect between you and your customers is important to understand.

In marketing, web design, sales pitches and every interaction point between your customer and the product, your customer needs to understand all the value that your product offers. Communicating the important aspects of value is important, but can be extremely difficult when dealing with very technical products. Focus on what matters and what will be easiest to persuade a potential customer convert into a paying customer. Using language that they don’t understand will not achieve this goal.

For example, if you are selling enterprise software to the human resources department, don’t begin the first conversation with details about the agile development process you used, hosting server environments or how robust your software will be. Upon immediate interaction, these things don’t matter. A human resources officer understands human resources issues. Communicate and discuss why your software will be useful and valuable. As much as we like to brag about the real differences between our product and the other guys, we must work to hold it back sometimes.

One of the best methods for determining if your message is simplified enough is to pitch something to your family member or friend is who is not like you. Find a family member who knows absolutely nothing about technology and explain something to them. If you begin receiving any looks of confusion, hesitation, daze, or any form of being puzzled, take this as a sign to reorganize your strategy. I often used to find myself discussing potential new features with family members or friends and I would begin using complicated and convoluted terms. Everything was “tech talk.”

Therefore, just because we live and breathe tech talk doesn’t mean that everyone else has the same understandings or viewpoints as we do.