I just attended The Start Conference today. It was a really good experience, meeting intelligent people, and hearing about new websites and services I didn’t know about. It was also really cool being able to hear the likes of Evan Williams and Matt Mullenweg share their stories, and talk to the likes of Merlin Mann.

I was thinking about what went on during the conference, and something stuck to me. If you ask any start-up consultant or anything, most of the time you’ll get similar advice. 2 parts of this advice you’ll probably get is, 1) how important an elevator pitch is (or the ‘escalator pitch’), and 2) that it’s not just about how cool your idea is, it’s about the need for it (this second one was something that Marc Hedlund from Wesabe.com mentioned today).

And in most cases, these are really good suggestions. Elevator pitches are important. And having a market for your idea is really what’s important, of course.

But there are some cases when it’s hard to think about things like this – when you are doing something truly revolutionary. When you are opening up a new market, doing something that has really never been done before.

Take Twitter, for example. Anyone who uses Twitter has probably tried (and failed) to explain it to others. It just can’t be done as an elevator pitch. And if you ask around, most people who haven’t used Twitter won’t see why such a tool would be useful.

Twitter would have failed in coming up with a good elevator pitch. I still haven’t seen a good elevator pitch for Twitter. And if you think about it, there wasn’t really a market or need for a service like Twitter. Nobody knew or thought they needed something like Twitter. No market research or anything would have revealed a need for Twitter. It was only through trying it out that they found out that there indeed was a market for it.

That’s just one example, but it demonstrates my point quite well, I think. Yes, there are standard tips and suggestions that we should all think about. Not only in starting a company, but whatever you’re doing, there’s always going to be standard suggestions and tips and advice from others. And that advice works 95% of the time.

But when you’re doing something revolutionary, standard advice and procedure just doesn’t cut it.

More often than not, you can’t do something revolutionary by following common advice.