I'm sure you've heard this pitch before. I know I have. Hundreds of times. "We are building a one stop shop." Before I get into why that's a bad pitch, let me try to explain what it means when entrepreneurs say it.
They are in essence differentiating themselves from the competition by offering more features than them. They are claiming to be the Swiss Army knife of startups.
"Our competition does X but we do X, Y, and Z so therefore we are better."
Here is why that is a bad pitch that no investor will buy.
As an entrepreneur, you need to focus.
One of the many reasons so many startups fail is because they lack focus. Instead of building the best product, they are focused on keeping it under the radar so that their competitor shouldn't find out what they're building. They are focused on filing patents instead of finding market fit. To build a successful venture, you need to be one hundred percent focused on one thing and one thing only; execution.
Stuffing your app with a hundred features means you are not focused on your core value proposition. Without focus, you will fail.
People don't want a Swiss Army knife.
Ask any user and they'll tell you they they'd choose a product that does one thing perfectly and solves a real pain point over a product that has many features but none of them work as needed. A one stop shop might look good on paper, but in real life, nine out of ten times, the product just won't fill the needs of the user.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
That is one of my favorite quotes of all time. It was da Vinci who said it and it was later adopted by Steve Jobs.
Give me a product that is seamless and works flawlessly. That is the ultimate sophistication. Give me a product that's confusing and overwhelming because it has endless bells and whistles, and you lost me even before I started using the product because the onboarding was too complicated for me.
It's just not how people operate
Think about it. When you need groceries, an electronic device, and notebooks for your kid's school, do you go into one store expecting to get everything there, or do you go to relevant stores one by one to find the thing you're looking for?
Now it's true that such stores exist, stores that sell everything, but that's the exception to the rule. It's just the natural way we act. We look for specific stores that sell that item.
This reminds of the story when Steve Jobs wanted to build Apple Stores and he went to the board and raised his idea. He was shot down immediately and the board told him that they can sell their mac computers in any electronics store right alongside HP, Dell, Samsung, and all the other computer manufacturers.
Jobs obviously wasn't buying it so he went behind their backs and built a concept store. He then brought the board there to see his vision and they were convinced. His claim was that he wants the people who are selling the Mac to live and breathe Mac and not just think of it as yet another computer.
Well, I don't think anyone needs me to tell them how successful Apple stores are.
You tried to capture it all and you captured nothing.
The Talmud has a saying: when you try to grab everything, you end up grabbing nothing. This is true about so many areas of life. It's true about education. You teach a child too much and they'll grasp nothing. It's true for communication. You try to use all the buzz words in the world in an attempt to sound smart. The person you're talking to will grasp nothing. And it is true for product. You try to get it all in there and users will quickly find a replacement product that does one thing well.
Rarely is the "One stop shop" a valid pitch and I would recommend entrepreneurs stop using it. It makes the exact opposite impression of what they were trying to convey.