Two years ago a good friend delivered a ‘pitch deck’ to a deeply technical company that was trying to humanize their otherwise bland, cryptic and highly technical message, so that a business leader could understand their offer and make a decision to buy or invest.
All members of the team were ‘old’, ‘white’, ‘male’, ’technically deep and not an ethics major or emotionally connected person to be found (at least in the core decision making team)
As someone who has spent their life translating meaning between disparate communities, when I saw it, I thought it was very good, rather clever and perfect for the job at hand.
‘They’ didn’t get it. ‘They’ thought it demonstrated a lack of understanding of the tech. ‘They’ felt that it totally missed the point, minimizing and making light of the deeply profound technical work that they had done to get them to this point.
‘They’ said that it was absolutely and clearly ‘demonstrated’ that the writer of said deck was incapable of understanding the technical nuances of this company and its offer.
‘They’ not only parted ways, but reneged on a share deal and did not pay the final bill.
Why would they? It was clear that the deck creator didn’t get it … how else could they have missed the target so badly?
As far as the reneging on the shares is concerned - who cares …. thirty months later the team continues to work on their baby and nothing has changed in or with the team other than they are 30 months older and funding and customers remain out of their grasp. The shares remain at the fraction of the penny that they have always been
But I guess there is one thing that changed … Messaging.
I just read a blog post by one of the leadership team.
It was a human, emotionally connected story. It was relevant.
It used the concept of the deck
It used words from the deck.
The story was the deck.
Even more galling - but I guess a sign of the times. My friend was a woman. A woman who is superbly talented in communications and marketing. Who has advised CEOs and Governments on strategy. Who was born with more insight and EQ than most people would build in a lifetime, let alone this particular team that I also happen to know.
Pearls before swine.