It takes more than a better mouse trap

Emerson was wrong. The world will not beat a path to your door just because you build a better mouse trap.

No busy, overstressed, fire-putting-out, content-with-the-product-they-have-now person really wants to hear from you. Even when you do build a better mousetrap, the world thinks you’re a giant pain in the ass. Nobody has the time, nobody has the patience, nobody wants to take the risk that your claims are exaggerated … We have to be invited in or we never get to tell our tale.

From Why Johnny Can’t Brand.

Not only does this apply to consumer and business products, it applies to science as well.

Related post: Getting women to smoke

One thought on “It takes more than a better mouse trap

  1. John,

    How true! On many fronts…

    To your point on applicability to science as well as business products:

    In my personal experience, as a creator of a software application tool that has some “math and science” under the covers to do its thing, I experience both “business products” resistance (e.g., to our “We’ve got a better mousetrap” claims) as well as occasional resistance on the math/science front (e.g,. “We’re not ready to listen to and understand a new math-based coverage maximization concept right now.”)

    To the author’s “you gotta be invited in” point:

    I’ve found that the sales cycle for enterprise licenses of our Design of Experiments-based software testing design tool range from a week or so (when we’re invited by decision-makers who have heard good things about us from people they trust and respect) to over a year when we are put into a role of “convincing skeptics” that Design of Experiments-based methods our tool uses to select relatively small sets of powerful software tests from among billions of possible tests (a) are not smoke and mirrors and/or marketing puffery, (b) consistently deliver large and measurable efficiency and effectiveness gains, and (c) deliver benefits on the the decision-makers’ specific types of software testing project(s).


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