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September 18, 2019

Stories untold

Oftentimes, the better parts of a story are those left unsaid. Focused, as we must be, on aiming a positive face towards our audiences, we carefully pick and choose what we say to them, leaving content that appears less relevant on our desktops like discarded remains.

Recently, I attended a memorial service for a good friend who was taken far too soon. We were friends for ten years, but as I read his obituary, I was struck more by what was unsaid.

Don’t misunderstand me. The obituary story was a great and heartwarming one, and I knew it to be accurate. But I also knew there was more to the story – and the missing pieces were even more engaging.

Like his vast collections of memorabilia on a remarkable range of topics (none of them highbrow). His ability to draw great meaning and import from animals as human symbols. And his disability; one that affected his interpersonal relationships throughout his life, driving affection and goodwill as well as career turbulence.

Each of us is made up of such a broad and complex mix of ingredients. And our products are no different.
In truth, we know that every innovative product feature is balanced by functional shortfalls and competitive fails. What we choose to share and not to disclose are driven by good execution of the marketing discipline and, often, common sense.

But sometimes the parts of the story untold are also potentially powerful – when used in the proper way and at a good time and place.

This is just a reflection from a professional storyteller. Stories are worth telling, as lives are worth living. In all their highs and lows.

I miss you, buddy.

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