Entrepreneurs, Credibility and The Sinatra Test

Why your ideas are more credible after you had achieved tough goals.

J. P. Solano
Nov 11, 2015 · 3 min read

Most the time, new entrepreneurs are struggling to get attention (investors, co-founders, developers, mentors, bloggers, etc). They spend lots of time crafting an elevator pitch to allow them to cross the door of the listener’s attention. The problem is that everybody is following the same strategy and elevator pitches are now a new kind of spam.

The challenge for new entrepreneurs is not about the duration or quality of their pitch, it’s about the attention that they receive. The level of attention that you get is directly proportional to the level of credibility that you have.

Authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath presented in their book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die an interesting aproach to increase your level of credibilty. The authors said that you have 3 ways to make your ideas more credible:

  1. Using compelling details,
  2. Using statistics (but unfortunately, with a short-timed elevator pitch, you don’t have time to be too picky for the technical details),
  3. Have a proved example that passes what they call “The Sinatra Test

You’ve probably heard “New york, New York” hundreds of times. Two lines stand out:

If I can make it there,

I’ll make it anywhere

Authors said “an example passes The Sinatra Test when one example alone is enough to establish credibility in a given domain”

For instance, if your startup is accepted by YC Combinator, it’s very likely that you can be accepted by another startup accelerator, or

if the first investor of your startup is Peter Thiel (the angel investor of Facebook), you don’t need an elevator pitch any more. (lol), or

if the First investment firm in your startup is Sequoia Capital, you don’t need to search for other firms, they will find you, or

if Gary Vaynerchuk say that your startup will be the next Snapchat, you will get a lot of attention from social media and the Investors space, or

if you are starting a new startup after selling your last one to Google for $ X-million, you will find dozens of VC ready to give you a cheque only with an presentation deck, and so on.

All these “examples” are extremely difficult to achieve and also this is why they can create a ridiculous amount of credibility for you.

Now, with the Internet and the Social Media, credibility can be also created by a new organic approach, one step at the time.

We can start by creating a strong credibility into our local community, then use this to move for the next level (community, city, province, country, continent, world).

I call this “The Local Entrepreneur Hero” approach.

A Local Entrepreneur Hero will take a group of actions and create products or services that incrementally establish his credibilty into their community in a given domain.

What type of actions?

  1. Start one (or many) meetup groups.
  2. Make an app for a non-profit organization.
  3. Create a TED group into your community.
  4. Volunteer for local events.
  5. Give a talk for a local event.
  6. Teach at a local college.
  7. Help others succeed.
  8. Be active on your Social Media community.
  9. Manage an blog / newletter for your community.
  10. Be a networking hub.
  11. Start a Periscope channel with local entrepreneurs

Use one or many of these actions and build an innovative product or service and then you can sing:

If I can make it here, (in my community)

I’ll make it anywhere

More posts from J.P. Solano:

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J. P. Solano

Written by

UI Architect | Software Engineer | Machine Learning Passioned | Cloud Computing Practitioner | Podcaster | https://www.linkedin.com/in/juansolano/

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