Found this on the web – Heilmeier’s Catechism. The key questions you need to answer in order to pitch a good idea. It doesn’t matter whether the idea is a research proposal, a new business, or a plan to colonize Mars.
I believe this was originally written by an engineer, so I’ll attempt to translate into business-speak in the added parenthetical comments to show the parallels to business and even venture capital.
- What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon. (Mission or vision)
- How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice? (Market research)
- What’s new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful? (Your intellectual capital)
- Who cares? If you’re successful, what difference will it make? (Value-add to customers)
- What are the risks and the payoffs? (What’s the ROI? Show me the money)
- How much will it cost? How long will it take? (Investment)
- What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success? (Metrics)