Outsider insight, insider outsight

I’m more convinced now than ever before that insiders are not the best people to explain a product or service that they’ve created. They’re not the best people to write about it; they’re not the best people to market it.

I rediscovered this recently when feeding our CEO some information for a PowerPoint.

I went full-bore and gave him 5-6 chunks of data to use. He selected 3 of them, elaborated on one, and killed 3. I gave him too much. I was so close to the project, so close to the data, that I could not simplify it adequately for him.

(Or, as I just to believe, it’s not that I could not. It’s that I did not.)

In other words, I was in the forest. I could see lots of trees, but I didn’t see the edges. And the edges, the boundaries, are where the definition takes place … where is-X and is-not-X becomes obvious.

Knowing those boundaries is essential to knowing your product. Knowing your service. Only by knowing them can you define what you are and what you’re not.

This is irritating, because this is something I believe I’m good at.

Lesson of the day:
Find ways to abstract myself from the problem/project/product/situation. Get perspective, then define it, explain it, market it, hype it.