It’s always a pleasure to be spun by someone who’s good at it, and yesterday Andreas and I had the opportunity – the pleasure, actually – to have that happen.
We were in at the offices of a vendor I believe actually makes some really cool stuff – seriously smart people who sell their kit to seriously smart, and seriously serious, people.
And then we got to that part of the presentation where they had to admit that they hadn’t had until recently a product feature that, uh, they probably should have had a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong – the idea that they admitted it is wonderful and refreshing, and the idea that they felt it important to point out any blemish should be lauded. Truly. No kidding. It’s so much better than us making a single phone call and discovering it on our own and then subsequently distrusting everything they say.
And this post is an ode to someone spinning nicely, not an attack.
While I’m here, here’s the Top Five Piles-o’-Crap we hear in vendor briefings. They’re all closely related.
- “Our customers told us that they wanted this . . . [whatever feature] and we listened to them”;
- “We work closely with our customers to drive our product roadmap”;
- “It’s interesting, but the thing is, we’re alone in this space”;
- “This is another feature that’s very unique about us (see, quantification of the non quantifiable from the department of redundancy department)”;
- “Actually our main competition comes from our internal development team.”
Yesterday the comment was,
“So we spent our time doing the really hard stuff first, but then our customers came along and …. I don’t want to say that they begged us, but they really requested that we add [this feature], so we did.”
So right there in the middle of the briefing, I look over at Andreas and I say, “In case you’re wondering, that there was ’spin’”. To which the vendor, to his credit, said, “Ah, I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Which, in fact, it was.