Hyperbole Management Specification 1.0

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• Charts and figures that show explosive growth are unnecessary and induce customer anxiety

• Force anyone presenting to move on to the solutions

In the IT industry we have an ugly addiction. It’s about growth, security, and complexity. Growth in data, growth in bandwidth needs, growth in number of devices. Security issues around every part of IT from edge IoT to the core of the data center. The complexity of managing all these systems, the ones put in to handle the growth and the ones to handle the myriad of security vulnerabilities from bugs to misconfigurations. The claims that “never before have we seen…”

If this was a vendor pitch, the slides would show how the solution fixes one or all of these. There would be charts showing growth rates, heat maps showing vulnerabilities, and tables showing operational costs increasing. The follow up slides would show substantial improvements to all of these indicators, providing companies buy and install the product, with professional services help, of course.

All this hyperbole, regardless of the truth of the provided facts and figures, is designed to bring a sense of urgency, to make customers feel as if they may miss out on opportunity if they do not act, and act very soon. It doesn’t mean that managing growth, security, and complexity aren’t real, they certainly are. But everyone needs to find a new way to market to customers and customers need to adapt to more business relevant reasons to justify IT purchases to management. But we should not let the arch-typical leading slide on the deck set the tone, instill the fear hook that demands we make a choice right now.

The information technology sector has been growing by leaps and bounds since day 1. Complexity, security, and volumes of data/bandwidth/widgets have been rising just the same. It was true in 1970. It was true in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and in 2019. Nobody is unaware of this, it effects our lives from the introduction of the personal computer, to the rise of the cell phone to the rise of the smartphone. Everyone sees it every day.

When you see those first slides in the deck, ask them to skip and move on. Move past all the hyperbole, move past the parts of the pitch that are designed to raise your anxiety level. Make them move to the parts that address these issues and concentrate on how they can help your particular business. We all need to get past being impressed with the growth in so many charts and figures and concentrate on important part of solving the issues that growth brings, in a reasoned and measured way, not rushed by feelings of impending doom.


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