Does The Idea You're Working On Stand Up To The Book-Cover Test

For those of you who are curious: Yes, I have purchased all three books. 

For those of you who are curious: Yes, I have purchased all three books. 

Malcolm Gladwell's latest best-seller could just as easily been called "Use What You Got" or "Flip It: How to Turn Life's Obstacles into Opportunities."

Howard Buffett's brilliantly titled "Forty Chances" might have been named "Together, We Can End World Hunger" or some other ignorable platitude. 

Scott Stratten's irreverent "QR Codes Kill Kittens" could have been called "Inter-not: 196 ways to Fail at DIgital Marketing" (or "Crap I Hate and So Should You"). 

But all of these authors understand that you can't capture a book sale until you've captured someone's imagination—and that's getting harder and harder to do in today's meme-a-minute world.

The same is true for selling your ideas—to your boss, to investors, to new customers, to the world.

So before you start pitching, ask yourself: "Does your idea stand up to the book-cover test?" Have you given your idea a name as compelling as the idea itself—a name that will catch on and, with luck, catch fire. 

Don't believe me? Ask yourself: Would Ty Warner been able to sell a single "understuffed animal" if he hadn't named them Beanie Babies