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Q: Who coined the term 'elevator pitch' ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Who coined the term 'elevator pitch'
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: lifeandhowto-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 23 Aug 2006 06:01 PDT
Expires: 22 Sep 2006 06:01 PDT
Question ID: 758692
Who or what organziation coined the term 'elevator pitch?' What year
was it? Are there any links to this online?
Subject: Re: Who coined the term 'elevator pitch'
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 23 Aug 2006 07:24 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

Chalk it up to Seymour Frank at the Journal of Commerce.

Frank wrote an article in a 1995 issue of the Journal of Commerce that
shows up as the earliest use of the term "elevator pitch" as the title
of one section of the article (earlier uses of the phrase can be
found, but only in reference to piloting an airplane!).

There isn't an online link to the article, but here's the context of
the use of the phrase:

Journal of Commerce
April 17, 1995



...One of the calls I was making was on Bill Zeckendorf when he headed
up Webb & Knapp. I arrived at his office 15 minutes early, and the
receptionist told me to wait. My 11 a.m. appointment came and went and
the clock now read 11:45 a.m. All of a sudden a big, burly man came
rushing out and headed for the elevator. The male receptionist looked
at me and then jerked his thumb in the direction of the man. That was
my cue. I chased after him and got in his elevator. "Are you Mr.
Zeckendorf," I asked, and he nodded affirmatively. "Well, I had a date
with you and I've been waiting 45 minutes." "OK," he said, "Tell me
about in the elevator." We were on the ground floor before I could
even get started. "OK, tell me about it in the cab. I'm getting off at
34th Street."

Business authors quickly picked up on the term, and by 1997 it was in
farily common use.

Hope that's the information you were looking for, but if there's
anything else you need, just let me know by posting a Request for



search strategy -- searched several newspaper and business publication
databases for "elevator pitch"
lifeandhowto-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Great! This is exactly what I was looking for. I agree it is very
possible that this term was around before 1997, (as the comment
mentions) however, I wanted to find an early reference to it and this
is very helpful!

Subject: Re: Who coined the term 'elevator pitch'
From: czh-ga on 23 Aug 2006 11:21 PDT
With all due respect to my colleague, pafalafa-ga, the usage of
"elevator pitch" started much earlier than 1995. It's been ubiquitous
in Silicon Valley at least since the start of the personal computer
and dot com eras as a description of your 30 second to 2 minute pitch
to venture capitalists. I've been active in the HR/careers industry
for many years and it's been used as a term in job search for at least
twenty years.
Subject: Re: Who coined the term 'elevator pitch'
From: lifeandhowto-ga on 24 Aug 2006 07:33 PDT
Your point is well taken and I agree it may have been around long
before 1997, however, I need some written articles or other "proof"
that it was in common ussage before 1997.

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