This is an episode from Storyteller Tactics
Each we release two tactics from the up and coming Storyteller Tactics card deck.
We show you how our characters use the power of story to overcome challenges (and how they also help us write their narratives!)
It's a Kind of Magic
Niamh has been with MiCasa for three months now. A dream job for any developer, starting with an almost blank page and focussing on what the customer really needs. Niamh has a great team around her and - best of all - no Dereks. Nobody talks about what the system won’t let them do, nobody worries about COBOL - in fact, no one here has even heard of it.
Meanwhile, Niamh’s getting a bit of first hand experience of how confusing the housing market can be. Her Nan died a couple of weeks ago, leaving her bungalow to Niamh’s Dad. So Niamh is helping her Dad work out the best way to sell. It’s so confusing, so old fashioned: how many estate agents do they really need to meet?
Back at MiCasa, Niamh’s been asked to brief an investor. Niamh asks Anton - her boss - what level to pitch the technical info. “Oh god, he’s a VC, a money man. He gets business plans but these guys don’t get development. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very smart. Just not you-smart.”
So Niamh keeps it simple. She starts with a bit of context: “I can tell you how we’re doing, but first I want to tell you why we’re doing,” she says. “All our user surveys suggest that Voice search is the next big thing. Once people try asking Alexa or Google a normal question and get a smart answer, they just love it. Property is so confusing to most people - even me - and we think there’s a real chance for MiCasa to give smart guidance, and do it at scale.”
Niamh gets into the technical briefing. The investor asks probing questions, about risks and timelines. But clearly he doesn't know how Niamh’s code works, never mind Voice or AI. At one point, he’s searching for an appropriate technical term and ends up with “you know, the black box magic stuff.”
It’s funny, thinks Niamh, I might as well be selling magic. I’m the Sorcerer, this is my spell. Oh well, if it gets the job done… I’ll go back to my incantations.
This week’s Storyteller Tactics
It’s a Kind of Magic
Some innovation, especially high tech stuff, is so baffling to most people that it might as well be magic. We love magical stories, but magic always comes with a set of rules. It can be learned the hard way - like Niamh learned to code. It can be stolen from - or granted by - a higher power. But there’ll be strings attached, just you wait and see.
How to Why
This is a great way to put a difficult project into a positive context. Of course you are obsessed with “how are we going to do this?” But your customers couldn’t care less, they just want to know “why would I want to use this?”
Sometimes it pays to remind everyone that all their tricky How’s are leading towards a satisfying Why.