Peter J. Denning is something of a computing hero to me. He formulated the concept of the working set, around which I based my MSc project and he has been personally very kind to me in reading and commenting on that report.
So, the article has written (for the ACM), with Nicholas Dew, in which they debunk the idea of the “elevator pitch” as a key business tool is doubly interesting, as, in my “real” job, elevator pitches are regarded as essential tools of the trade:
To make this work, you need to re-interpret the pitch. It is not a transmission of information but an offer to havea conversation. It is often much easier to ask someone to join you in a conversation than it is to present a polished, sticky, commercial-grade presentation. A conversational pitch will get you closer to your idea being adopted.
Well worth reading the whole thing – it’s not long, though not quite of elevator pitch length either!