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Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology
March 12, 2014 by Graham Brown (Edit)
A TOOL FOR THE HEART: HOW WE USE METAPHORS TO SELL TECHNOLOGY
Apple II au musée de l'informatique (Paris-La ...
Apple II au musée de l’informatique (Paris-La Défense) (Photo credit: luc legay)
In a scene from Joshua Stern’s biographical movie about the life of Steve Jobs, he depicts a scene where a frustrated Jobs is trying to explain the groundbreaking Apple II computer to an industry colleague:
“We’re talking about the future.
We’re working in a market that doesn’t even exist yet,”
Jobs yells on the phone.
“What Intel has done for the microprocessor, we are going to do for the home computer [pause]
…How can you not know what I’m talking about?”
In another call he says,
“No ma’m but it runs on a TV monitor.
Like a television set, exactly.
No, it’s not a TV set.
It’s a personal computer.
Do you own a typewriter?
Imagine combining your typewriter with your television set.”
Jobs slams down the phone, falls back onto the grass, and screams in exasperation.
Jobs was a master storyteller and metaphors played a key role in how he communicated technology.
Consider, for example, how he used the imagery in 1984 to depict Apple in the metaphorical context of the creative underdog versus IBM “Big Brother”.
Consider also when asked to describe the iPod he simply called it
“A tool for the heart”