Monday, May 11, 2009

The Many Angles Of Truth

How is it that two companies that sell the same product can tell you the exact opposite things, and still both be telling the truth?

They can't...but they also can, often both at the same time.

This all goes along with a two part blog series I wrote on Blellow, about your personal story. Products have a story too. Everything in the business world has a story. Otherwise it wouldn't be where it is.

Many products or services can do more than one thing. I'd wager that nearly every single one can, actually. The thing is, most of them only tell you what they want you to know. Is that dishonest? No, not really - they're not lying (well, some might be, but thats a whole separate post for another time) and they want you to use their product for their intended purpose. Their intended purpose may be vastly different from some other product that does some or most of the same thing, but if the people behind it have different ideas on what you should do with it, they'll present different stories. They're both telling you the truth; but its the truth they want you to hear, not necessarily the full truth.

Some people would say that is dishonest. I wouldn't. Why shouldn't I be able to tell you that my product, while similar to yours, does some different things? Why would I put out a product that does the same stuff as someone else and say exactly that? I wouldn't - because I would fail, damn near immediately.

From a business perspecive, telling you what someone wants you to know is the way that it's done. Some people on the outside don't like it, and do think of it as misleading or distrustful, but many of them can't really tell you a coherent reason why they don't like it.

Most of what seems to be the problem is the whole concept of "story" because when people hear story, they immediately jump to fiction. Your story within business MUST NOT be fiction, otherwise you're going to be found out, and you'll be done. Probably out a lot of money, too.

Crafting your story, while still telling the truth and not being misleading isn't exactly easy. What are some of your favorite product stories? What are some of your favorite product stories that differentiate very similar products?

Thanks for reading...

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