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Pride and Fall

Pride and Fall

What is the Pride & Fall story tactic?

This is one of the oldest stories we know. Icarus, Frankenstein and Titanic all follow its arc.

Pride and Fall is the favourite story for our inner sceptic. Its moral is "this sounds too good to be true". It's the story your clients or users might be hearing, even though you're telling them Rags to Riches. Use this story arc to get ahead of their scepticism and win them round.

Tip: Flip a failure story into a tale of "hard lessons learned" by using Man in a Hole.

How to use the Pride & Fall story tactic

Pride and Fall stories hit five main beats. Think of the Icarus story as an example.

Pride and Fall chart

Bad place: Icarus is imprisoned on an island.

Pride: Daedalus builds him some wings out of wax and feathers. Icarus can defy gravity and nature.

Warning: "Don't fly too close to the sun."

Fall: Icarus ignores the advice, flies too close to the sun and the wings melt.

Worse place: instead of imprisoned, the boy drowns in the sea.

Now imagine you need to convince a sceptical user or client that your project is not heading for a fall.

What's their bad place: the problem you're trying to solve?
What might sound proud, like you're trying to fly too high?
Which warnings might you be ignoring?
How might you fall?
How could this leave your user/ client worse off than they started?

See if you can reassure the sceptics with No Easy Way.

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