all you can really do is make it more fun for the customer to tell himself the story

From Kathy Sierra:

Learning music changes music. Learning about wine changes wine. Learning about Buddhism changes Buddhism. And learning Excel changes Excel. If we want passionate users, we might not have to change our products–we have to change how our users experience them. And that change does not necessarily come from product design, development, and especially marketing. It comes from helping users learn.

I have one friend who is obsessed with “our story”.
He’s forever asking the people he works with, “What’s our story?” He wants to break down the story of his business into little pieces, again and again, micromanaging every last nuance, polishing every last nut and bolt like they were precious gemstones. And because [A] I’m a professional “storyteller” of sorts and [B] I’ve been drinking beer with him for nearly twenty years, I get dragged repeatedly into this.
Sometimes I find it very difficult. I suppose I’m not so interested in “our story” so much. More interesting to me is the story the customer tells himself about his product.
All you can do is make it more fun for the customer to tell himself the story. As Kathy Sierra points out, this is where education comes in.
If you do that, then you win.


  1. The truest thing you’ve said in ages, or at least the one that applies the most to me 😉 . I can’t remember if I commented in some other entry that for years, my jewelry sales have depended on one thing. My buyers MUST have something interesting to say when someone asks: “lovely earrings. Where did you get them?”