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Don’t confuse your vision with your marketing

A lesson for entrepreneurs from one of tech’s biggest failures in recent years.

It’s well known that tech brands like to paint sweeping narratives of transformation, promising us devices that will reshape our lives and disrupt industries.

They love larger-than-life stories and lofty promises to captivate our imaginations with visions of groundbreaking innovation.

Such as Humane’s ai pin which was marketed as the product to finally free us all from the slavery of our phones, a personal assistant that looks like it’s coming directly out of a Star Trek movie with features that definitely sound SciFi.

But reviews were brutal.
Their product didn’t deliver.
Worse, it failed at basic tasks.

Apparently, Humane wanted too much.
They certainly promised too much.

Perhaps, they had confused their vision with their marketing.

Vision is crucial, but it needs to align with current capabilities.

The vision might be what motivates the team.
It informs the choices you make.

But it’s not the reality.
At least, not yet.

You shouldn’t make promises that sound as if it were.

I think it’s a safe bet that reviewers were merciless at least in part due to their oversized promises.

Had they marketed it more grounded in reality, for example as a first step towards that vision, perhaps even with more limited functionality (but which actually works as expected), reviewers might have reacted very differently.

They might have rooted for the newcomer.
Followed along their journey.
Cheered for the little successes along the way.

But Humane chose the grandiose, larger-than-life story.

I think they confused vision with marketing.

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Dr. Michael Gerharz