Thu, Jun 26, 2014

Man Barks at Dog

Mike Butcher, editor in chief at TechCrunch UK tends to say: Don’t give me a story about “Dog bites man”. Tell me the one where the man bites the dog.

This simple and yet profound insight stuck with me. And when I saw this video pop up on Boing Boing yesterday, I was reminded why this seemingly small insight is so important.

“Startup PR: ‘Dog bites man’ — nobody cares. ‘Man bites dog’ — now you have a story!”

Reality is: Nobody has ever heard of your startup. People don’t care if you tell them the same old story they hear from everybody else (and have most likely heard numerous times in the past from the established companies in your field). Startups need to be loud and polarize — on purpose. You need people to love you for what you’re doing. And you need to be okay with people hating you as well. If you don’t polarize you drown in a sea of mediocrity.

And make no mistake: What you believe is a great story might very well not be one. You need to tell stories from the perspective of your customers: What do they care about? What is important to them? What makes your story compelling to them? Have you ever noticed how Apple rarely speaks about the technical specs of their computers where everybody else does? It’s because their customers couldn’t care less if the chip in their fancy, shiny, gorgeous new MacBook Air is an Intel i5 or i7. It just needs to work.

Bark at that dog!

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