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Dec 20th, 2018 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

The Fire Flower Problem

How many times have you heard a fellow entrepreneur pitch their business by talking about themselves and their product? It goes something like this:

“Hi, I am John – the founder of Blockchain-Dot-AI. We developed a revolutionary new blockchain-based AI-enabled smart toaster. Our toaster leverages a convolutional neural network to determine the perfect degree of ‘browning’ based on sensor input combined with computer vision-enabled embedded cameras and records every slice of bread you make on an immutable distributed online ledger. I am uniquely qualified to do this kind of work as I wrote the world’s most cited Ph.D. thesis on the use of AI in the modern toaster appliance business.”

We are having the fire flower problem.

If you ever played Nintendo’s Super Mario (and who hasn’t?!), you know the fire flower. Catch them, and Mario turns into an immense fireball throwing Fire Mario.

Your customer is Mario.

Most of us, when we talk about our product, we talk about THE PRODUCT. Which means nothing to Mario if we just describe how awesome the fire flower looks, how it functions and how hard it was to grow it. What Mario wants to know is how he becomes Fire Mario.

Instead of talking about your excellent product, talk about how you will turn Mario into Fire Mario!

Huge, huge kudos to the Rust Team for writing this up (and to Kathy Sierra for looping Mario into this) – they gave me words for something I always knew but never could express as eloquently. Here is the article – with an awesome graphic by Samuel Hulick.

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