1) We are number one in the space: Yes, you are darling! There’s absolutely no one who has thought about what you’re doing and we’re very sure you’d change the world! As Shakespeare would have put it in the current age, "Thou rocketh!" This becomes especially more hilarious when you’re trying to convey this through your PR firm. It would be better if you just tell us what you do and let us decide the rank we want to place you on.
2) We do it with a twist: Oh, sure you do! Copying a model because you think you can do it better is not a taboo. But how about just saying we’re trying to do this because we think we can do it better, and leave out the ‘twist’ bit. Just do well whatever it is, even if copying.
3) We’re launching an eCommerce site! : Jeez, wow! This is like the latest fad in India. eCommerce is a lucrative field and there is a lot of opportunity but in this market where there are almost 10 launches each day, how are you different? Unless of course you’re launching something that sells sex toys or something that has come from outer space.
4) We invest in the team: Well, this is for the investors. You sure do, but this statement is becoming too clichéd! Yes, the team is very important, and if they are really good they can always pivot but please can we hear something different? Some spice?
5) We’re sector agnostic: This is also for the investor. Perhaps this is the 'in' thing to say and is probably true as well but it's becoming a bit too predictable now. On asking, “What sector do you invest in?” one slyly turns inwards and giggles.
6) Patent pending: Oh common mister inventor, patent pending? A patent pending technology doesn’t really mean anything. You might be a genius and all your thousands of pending patents may convert, but we as a species believe the proof of the pudding is in the eating!
7) Business Plans: Business plans are some of the funniest collection of slides you’d ever see and investors have added more spice by asking entrepreneurs for five-year plans and 15 crore revenue plans. The extrapolation is just amazing - linear, upward looking and as ideal as a mother’s prognosis about her kid. I sometimes scan through business plans instead of reading Dilbert!
So the next time you talk to a journo about any of the above points (and a few more), make sure you are convincing enough.