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Investor: What are you building?

Entrepreneur: Artificially intelligent software that automatically builds sophisticated business applications based on the enterprise's business rules.

Investor: Your competitors are too entrenched. What can you do that's simpler?

Entrepreneur: Small business software that ties all a company's applications together.

Investor: You'll never compete with Microsoft. What else?

Entrepreneur: Tiny apps that all kinds of people can use to run their stuff.

Investor: 37signals will kill you. What else?

Entrepreneur: Social software that enables your sales people to understand what's happening in the global marketplace.

Investor: It'll never work. Can you do something more practical?

Entrepreneur: An intelligent e-commerce system that guarantees the consumer the best value.

Investor: You'll never compete with Amazon or Ebay. Got any other ideas?

Entrepreneur: Recipe software.

Investor: OK, if that's the best you can do, we'll go with it. Geez, I just wish you guys would dream a little bigger.

I like this thoughtful example. Problem is, like what you've outlined, 90% of this conversation happens in the entrepreneur's head which is precisely the complaint!

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