Ideas Britain believe that everyone has the right to opportunity. So no matter your background or qualifications, you can interact with experienced business coaches and top brands who want to help lift your idea off the ground. Here, Ally Millar explains how he tries (and sometimes fails) to pitch the recently launched Ideas Britain app.
I met a girl recently. I was with her for a matter of seconds - and she changed my life with a look, and these four words. Unfortunately this ain’t no love story - she rejected me. But we’ll get to that. Failed or otherwise, I’d prefer to tell you a love story, when in fact I’ll spend the next few minutes trying to sell you an idea. We’ll get to that too, but first allow me to blitz through the traditional approach to writing a pseudo-sales pitch/ advertorial in a business/ professional publication. First, the writer asserts what gap in the market they’re here to plug. Then, in 2015, they’ll use words like ‘disruptive’, ‘game-changing', or ‘unique’ to convey the enormity of the product or business they’re hawking. And then, the closer invariably looks like a tired and greasy emotional round off - perhaps a pledge that this product or business will make all of your cliches come true. Allow me: bam bam bam - gap, bam bam bam - somethingification, bam bam bam - have a Ghandi quote, have some pickled Branson, here’s something Orwellian to knock your silicon socks off. Buy it now. I’ve been guilty of loading articles and even sales pitches with such buzzwordery - and I’ve done it because this dusty three-step magic paradigm can work. Let’s try this: Research Ideas Britain carried out found that 84% of this country’s ideas get dropped because people haven’t the confidence, the contacts, the clout, the cash to take it forward. Ideas Britain is an app which ensures every idea goes as far as it can. There’s peer feedback and collaboration to help you develop your idea. There’s brands and coaches ready to invest, and there’s mentors ready to help and to connect you to their networks. It’s free and it’s available from the App Store now. Be your best you. Perhaps that worked for you. However - and this is where we came in - it didn’t butter the girl’s parsnips. I was invited to a Street Games charity event with 150 kids from disadvantaged backgrounds to spread the word about Ideas Britain, and offer the app as a new way to get your idea out there. Our very premise is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, your ideas can move and you can find success. You need not be one of the 84%. Ideas Britain is tailor made for people who don’t have ins to the worlds of finance, brands, coaches. It’s perfect for anyone who’d struggle to follow though on an idea for whatever reason. With Ideas Britain, all you have to do … is upload an idea, no matter how far developed it is. But for this girl - she was 18, from a disadvantaged background and had the most incredible energy about her - the response to the app, to Ideas Britain, was thus: “I can’t be bothered.” She saw through the buzzwords, the bullsh*t, the bingoisms, and asked me just this: “why should I?” The £40,000 in prize money didn’t speak to her, a bunch of top business primed to help people didn’t speak to her, connections into the biggest brands around didn’t speak to her. Why should it? Ideas Britain and the business realm seemed world's apart from her day - to - day. The whole thing means hee-haw. She heard the stock pitch, she heard ’disruptive’, she heard ‘game-changing technology’, she heard ‘unique’. Being me, I probably threw in a Ghandi quote and passed it off as one of mine. But with a smile and a glint in her eye she told me she didn’t get it. She rejected me. And I didn’t have the wit or quickthinkery to turn the situation around. Only now do I wish I'd had the intelligence to turn my sterile, tired, dusty, boardroom speak into a new real-world conversation for another person we'd love to help. Let me try and redeem myself now. Here's how Ideas Britain can work beyond the abstract and the fancy: Earlier this year three youngsters came to us with an idea for an iPhone case. We sourced them investment, we paired them with a coach, and now the product is for sale in loads of high street shops and big digital stores. That's what I should have said. To be honest, this last section is probably the only bit of this article that matters. The rest I wrote to fill my word count. Ideas Britain, we hope we’ll see you in the app.