Don't Pitch Like Tracey Ullman's App Guy


“Go around the lead, love.
Go round, I’m on 9% here.
Go round.”

Oh dear. “Welcome to Disruptasaur”. The office of The App Guy, “the CEO, founder and creativity samurai”. It’s in his local coffee shop. There all day. He likes to switch to his “creativity reboot chair”. From 4pm.

This 2016 Tracey Ullman Show creation is a little marvel. During his 3½ skits in the series, he pitches a variety of wondruous unicorns in the making;

Snackdar. Cashmelp. AirScissors. Share My Plank. Pound Shop Price Check. What’s That Baby Wearing. We Buy Any Shoe.

A quick-minute slice of this is on the BBC site. Here’s a transcript for the 30sec pitch, once the prospect first asks…

– What have you got?
– It’s shit hot. You know Shazam?
– Mm-hm.
– You hear a song, you want to know what the song is? Shazam tells you.
– Yeah, I know it.
– Yeah, well, this is like Shazam but for the weather. So, you hold it up to the sky and it tells you what the weather is like right now. [the App Guy holds his phone to the window] There it is, boom! It is overcast. [shows screen, with a cloud icon present]
– Right.
– Well, then it will tell you what the weather is going to do later?
– Uh No, no, because you wouldn’t need to do that, you can just check with the apps. So, we have a deal?

There’s surely little need to analyse such spot-on sales satire. But here’s a cheeky trio of pointers anyway.

Never start off by saying that what you’ve got is amazing. Delete any expletive. Resist temptation to say anything remotely like, “you’re gonna love this”.

Using another huge product as an anchor can be a decent technique. Screenwriters evoke hit movies with success all the time. I even learned the other day Star Trek was originally pitched 50 years ago as “Wagon Train in space”. But in this tech arena people are tiring of the plain ‘Shazam for the weather’ styling.

And lastly, check, re-check and check again that the ‘problem’ which you resolve is indeed a relevant one. One suffered in a specific situation. By a certain type of person. Something that ‘tells you what the weather is like right now’ sadly is patently not making the world a better place.


Boom! It’s cloudy.

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