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TwitterPitching — and a Sample Pitch

Earlier today I coined the phrase TwitterPitching to describe the act of encapsulating an entire business plan within the 140 character limit of a Twitter post. Styled after the concept of an Elevator Pitch, a TwitterPitch must be brief and specific. Briefly, an elevator pitch is a business plan designed to be verbally delivered within the time span of an elevator ride. TwitterPitches are even shorter.

Fred Brooks once said that a constrained design produces a better solution and that’s definitely the case here. Minimalism, the doctrine that less is more, is another vital attribute of a TwitterPitch. Think of a product built to sell at a certain price point. As the designers and the engineers strive to hit the price point, unneeded complexity and expenses are stripped away, resulting in (if all goes well) a somewhat elegant solution to the design constraints. When I did my Ignite Seattle talk a few months ago, I spent almost two days removing superfluous elements from my presentation, trimming, honing, and combining until I had exactly 5 minutes worth of material. Instead of being limiting, the constraints inspire creativity.

Ok, so what’s my TwitterPitch? Here’s what I twittered:

"Free Idea: Make $ with Twitter-Use AMZN ECS, get top seller, Twitter (to varied profiles) on month/week/day/hour basis. Income as AMZN assoc"

Yes, this is pretty terse, but all of the basics are there. Revenue projection ($), technology base, application architecture, and revenue model!

What was I thinking?

While getting ready for work this morning I was trying to think of some interesting way to combine an Amazon Web Service and Twitter. There’s a lot of empty space in my skull. Within this space, random parts and ideas toss and turn, sometimes meshing with each other and giving rise to an interesting idea or two!

There are already a couple of news robots on Twitter. I am friends with CNN Breaking News. Every so often it twitters a news headline. Kind of handy.

So, here’s my grand idea. What about some Amazon shopping robots which twitter various interesting products? Using the E-Commerce Service, it is pretty easy to retrieve best-sellers in any product category by specifying a browse node and then sorting by Salesrank. I would create a grid of twitterers, with one dimension being a product category and the other one an update interval. So I could, for example, subscribe to “amazon.scifi.weekly” and get one twitter from it per week, with the title of the best-selling science fiction book and a link to the Amazon detail page. The link would include an Amazon Associate Id so that the robot’s operator would earn a commission on each sale which originated from the link. Reasonable twittering frequencies could be daily, weekly, and monthly.

I am very confident that this service could be built and that people would subscribe to it. Using the Twitter API, updates are simply an HTTP POST.

What’s your TwitterPitch?