Monday, August 17, 2009


We sometimes show our product to analysts. There's a bit of a funny relationship there: we want them to say our product is great and wonderful; they want our business... and they want to appear unbiased. The end result of this is usually a report or a press release or some words they're willing to say to potential and future clients.

In order for the report to look as rosy as possible, we assemble data:
  • demos
  • performance reports
  • analysis of how much more reliable/scalable/faster we are
  • theoretical backgrounds and abstracts
Yes, we're kind of geeky, so we tend to throw data at problems. There's one missing ingredient, though:

You also have to be convincing.

It's easy to fall into a trap where you start with a position ("our product is great") and work from there to the data that shows it's great. Anyone else looking at your data, though, does not share the same starting position. They don't yet see your underlying point ("our product is great").

Present the data; this is an important part of building your stature for your audience. But don't forget to present your position as well. You need to be explicit in the conclusions you think your data shows. Specifically say, "Here is the data, and here is the conclusion (our product is cool) that results from this data."

Your position is the belief. Your data is a reason to believe. Together, they're convincing. Be convincing.

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