This post was written in 2017 while we were fundraising.
We went on to raise over 5MM Dollars...
There is a fairly good chance only my wife, 2 of my employees and perhaps a curious stranger will read this late night bit of writing. I may not care - as this may just serve as a written reminder to myself as to the importance of WHAT our company actually does, and why it's important to know the essence of this for all those conversations with investors, potential hires, potential customers and maybe even potential acquirers of our company... (everyone can dream - right?)I mean - any tech company CEO should know what they're doing / why they're doing it - it's fairly simple, right?
Since we quit our jobs to work on Motorleaf in 2016, the number of ways we describe our company has changed more times than I care to remember. Not in 'SHIT! it's not working.. let's pivot!!" kind of ways - more the top line - 1 paragraph to wrap up all the blood sweat and tears we've put in, and visions of grandeur we've discussed, argued and agreed upon (only to rethink the next month)
WHY do I do this? Could I not find something else to focus on? Right now - the 3 people I know are reading this will likely be thinking: "Jeezus Ally - you know what Motorleaf is all about, it's ALL you talk about - focus on something else - like your kids, terrible haircut, constant crankiness when you sleep badly at the office - - etc'
But NONONO - it's one of the hardest things to get right - as there are SO many ways to describe yourself that could all pass as 'good enough'- but won't infuse the reader/audience with a spark - that could light a fuse and send them into orbit with you and your team on your adventure....
So why work on it? Well - no one has any attention to give you, certainly not enough to listen to 7 paragraphs spoken or written about what you do/why you do it. Even now - you may be thinking - "I'll give this article only a few more seconds before I'll check my phone and look at cats on the internet". Who can blame you? - that's about as much use as cats can provide any one of us - help the little chats out by watching them online right now.... (french word for cats is a mix of shits and cats - mind blown...?)
Anyhow - if you think about your company - you normally zip to the meat and potatoes - "we make widgets for people to allow for XYZ to happen"
- B O R I N G S N O R I N G.
Then your brain wakes up - and then you try again - "We enable people to feel XYZ from using our widget, and achieve XYZ in their lives" - aspirational - a bit fluffy and touchy-feely.
But if you want to light a spark in your audience/reader - can you give them just enough of a narrative - where their brain starts making connections, coming to their own 'this is where I think this could go' statement?
It's like magic when you get it right. You can see the cogs quickly turn, see a look of surprise (not because what you said is surprising, but because they themselves have just come up with ideas on a subject they may never have considered before...
It's a well worn example - but memorable because it was so good. What was apple making when the iPod first came out? "1000 songs in your pocket".
Hat's off to Mr Jobs - that nailed it and sparked everyone's imagination!
As I write this I can think of at least 7 different statements as to how we described what Motorleaf 'does' in the past 12 months.
1) Produce Hardware + Software automation for indoor farming
2) Redefine indoor farming automation
3) Supply modular wireless hardware to monitor any size indoor farm
4) Turn any indoor farm into a smart, connected farm
5) Deliver AI powered farming
6) Monitor, Control, & Predict services for your controlled environment farm
7) Bring to life essential data, to make the best decisions for your indoor farm
All of the above is true - but it just doesn't encapsulate the bigger picture. So as of today we think differently. We talk about ourselves like this:
"Motorleaf is providing every greenhouse & indoor farm with an artificial intelligence powered virtual agronomist".
until we improve it again that is...
Check out my TEDx talk - where I use one of the above examples (which I'm no longer happy with) to explain what we do...
Please feel free to share this - - and happy to engage on the subject if you like!