Getting Your Idea Across… To Your Dad.

On purpose I had not told my dad I left my day job until just recently. He’s 84 so he leans toward the “stick with your job and save your money” train of thought. I figured I’d break it to him over lunch, that way if he was going to explode he would have to pay for his own food. After I explained the situation to him he was actually very supportive. Then came the inevitable “What are you working on” question. The dreaded question. Remember, he’s 84 and once told me that computers were a fad. He’s a bit more reasonable now. Oh, and he can’t see either. After making him sign an NDA (just kidding!) I broke it down for him and related it to things that he’s accustomed to using. In two minutes he understood it and said “I’d use that!” He’s a bit out of my age demo but what the hell, good enough. Three concepts that have really come about over the last five years that he’s never seen or used and he gets it. The power of a good story transcends everything. No techy details, no discussion of business models, innovation, marketing or sales. Just a good story built on concepts that he’s already familiar with.

I’ve seen people build sixty page powerpoint decks to convince others that they know what they’re talking about. In the end the audience’s eyes glaze over and they’re asking “WTF was that about?” If you can’t break your concepts down in five minutes for someone who has no idea of what your talking about to start with, perhaps you should reconsider what you’re saying.