When I initially pitched the idea of writing about tech and startup writing, I got a lot of pushback. “Are these two industries even related?” “How can you write about discrete industries together?” The questions went on and on. But really, both industries require the same skill: the ability to communicate new and/or complex ideas in an accessible, clear and exciting manner.

Most tech companies have created, or continually create, interesting and often new products that enhance quality of life for some or all people. From accounting software to physical activity trackers, these products use cutting-edge technologies to make life better. But focusing on the technology that gets us that better quality of life can quickly lead to complications- and many confused looks. Tech speak doesn’t translate well into language the average person can understand, even if the end result is a phenomenal, easier and new way to do something we’ve always done.

Startups are often the same, even if they aren’t in the tech space. Working with new and innovative ideas is exciting. However, its very difficult to explain a brand new idea, especially when there’s little common language to define the idea- or even the need for the product. Think about Pinterest. A decade ago, if you’d discussed the idea of an online bulletin board to collect visual inspiration, people would have looked at you like you were crazy. Why would a product like that even be necessary? Could it even be visualized in the average person’s mind?

Taking an idea and paring it down to its essentials, even if it seems like oversimplifying, is key when writing for both of these industries, if your target audience includes people with little to no specialist knowledge. Leading with the need- almost as if you were writing a case study- is often the most accessible way to get people interested in what you have to say. From there, you can focus on the results, and over time educate on the idea and product.

This is the sixth and final post in our six-part series on writing for specific industries by digital marketing and business development specialist Khaleelah Jones. You’ve more than likely seen her many other works on the Wordsmithie blog before. We’ve enjoyed posting this series for your reading pleasure. Have an industry we didn’t write about in this series? Let us know on Twitter @sparkingbrands and we’ll write one just for you!

Khaleelah Jones

Khaleelah Jones is a digital marketing consultant who has worked with tech startups, educational institutions and non-profits on acquisition and engagement strategy, implementation and KPI modeling. When she’s not working, she can be found reading, writing, pontificating history, yoga-ing and making up verbs.
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