Monday, April 30, 2012

You're So Cool

I wrote a snarky (and not very deep) song one night back in 2002 or so after hanging out with some oh-so-hip acquaintances:
you're so cool 
I want to be near you 
I want to be just like you 
where'd you get those shoes
Everything they did or said projected how cool they were (or wanted to be; I stopped hanging out with them at just about that moment).

have hipsters lightened up corporate life?

You know what it's like--it's everywhere these days, it seems. Makes me long for the Mennonite kids I went to church with when I was young.

You're Not Cool. Yet. 
I'm noticing a lot of seed- and early-stage startups using marketing language designed to tell us how cool they are.

Claims of greatness. Or simplicity. Or bravado, like look out world, here we come. I used to do it too.

You should stop it.

Say it to yourselves, among friends, occasionally. But the reality is you aren't great yet.

And it's not about you. It's about the people you're trying to serve. So make it about them, and don't make wild claims about all the amazing things you can do for them.

Make it about how it benefits them--specifically, and briefly. And also ask them to take action--sign up, buy now, let us call you, let me show you something that could do the job for you, can you tell us what you think.

Be great. And once other people start telling you how cool you are, well, enjoy it while it lasts. But don't confirm it by telling people about it--that will make you decidedly uncool.

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