If I Don’t Get You, You Don’t Get Me

startup value propositionsIn a world in which many people are time-strapped, multi-tasking and mentally scattered, the “get” factor is huge for startups.

By “get”, I mean how well and quickly a startup tells potential users what it does and what their product or service will do for them. It sounds simple but it’s difficult to do.

If people don’t “get” what a startup offers, it’s ¬†game over because they will quickly click away. On the other hand, a startup that makes it easy for people to “get” what they do has a great shot at winning over a new user or customer.

A good case in point is Workflowy, whose home page proclaims it will “organize your brain”. First, I don’t get what this means, the benefits (aka what’s in it for me) aren’t obvious, and there’s no sense of why I’d want to use it.

It turns out Workflowy is a place to write notes, although even after signing up for the service the most valuable or useful benefits and features were not highlighted.

After a few minutes, I lost interest, and Workflowy lost a potential user. This isn’t to suggest Workflowy is a bad or valueless service. In fact, it could be very good but the failure to provide the “get” cuts off Workflowy at the knees.

startupsThat’s the bad, here’s an example of the good:, an online service that helps to control your inbox by making it easier to manage, review and get rid of subscriptions such as newsletters.

Unroll’s mission and purpose is crystal clear and the benefits are obvious. It takes little time to “get” what Unroll does and why anyone would want to use it.

For those of us who receive way too much email, Unroll’s benefits are a no-brainer. Even better, Unroll is simple to embrace and use.

The reason “get” is important (along with good design and usability) is without one that works, many consumers will never discover your product/service, even if it’s top-notch and user-friendly. And that would be a disappointment for everyone.

The bottom line is startups must make it abundantly clear what they do, what their service or products offers users, and the benefits – all in one, well-articulated package.

Anyone have examples of startup with a great “get”?

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