The really important difference between Skype and Joost was that Joost’s product had a critical input that depended on a stubborn, backward-thinking industry – video content owners. Whereas Skype could brazenly threaten the industry it sought to disrupt, Joost had to get their blessing. Eventually the content companies licensed some content to Joost, but not nearly enough to make it competitive with cable TV or other new platforms like Hulu and iTunes.
Pitches usually fail because they answer the wrong questions. The right questions depend on the stage of your business—for example, some businesses are just getting started with an idea, while others are printing money. Focus your pitch on the key questions for your stage and if you keep getting non-key questions, something is wrong with your pitch. This post includes a hierarchy that you can use to classify your business and the key questions for each stage in the hierarchy.