For some of you, the startup journey begins with you imaging your brand. Logos, colors, taglines and business cards are quick to be developed. I won’t stand in your way of these actions (though I think they are a waste of time at this juncture).

In essence what you are trying to accomplish is identifying your point-of-view in a simple and concise manner so that others can grab a hold of that POV. Deeper than colors and logos is a message about what your company is about.

This is the hard part. Way way too many of you describe your company in 5-10 minute explanations. This is bad and can kill your brand in one fell swoop. Why? If you are socializing your idea/product/company with as many people as possible, you will have that many opportunities to “share your brand”.

The cliche “less is more” has never been more appropriate than in the initial branding of your company’s value.

Your task is to build a simple, accessible brand and the only path is to message narrowly.

Resist the temptation to describe all of the potential ways your idea can serve an ever-widening list of customers. You don’t have permission to think that broadly yet.

The longer version of this article first appeared here in