When PowerPoints eat your demo...OR: When ambition is just too much
David Weinberger on Culture
There's this start-up. (Sorry, but I can't get too specific because I'm a consultant to its main competitor.) It's getting some good PR because it's got a hot demo in a hot space. Great. But the PowerPoints betray the demo and make you wonder what the heck is going through their minds.
Let's pretend the product is a new word processor. (It's not.) The demo shows off incredible features you'd love to have. It corrects words before you mistype them. It has a Logic Checker that not only finds the flaws in your reasoning but suggests useful alternatives. It lets you type in English and have it show up in French. It's just way cool.
But then they give you the slide show. It turns out that being the world's greatest word processor isn't enough for this company. No, the demo you just saw is really only a small part of their grand design. Their word processor is really just a platform for developing semantic e-commerce enterprise global paradigms that will revolutionize the way you work, how your enterprise makes money, and the role of management. In short, the PowerPoints ratchet the product up to the point where using it requires a religious conversion.
It makes you wonder what it's like to work at a place where ambition demeans the value of craft.