Users are Heroes

Your software is only a tool for them.

February 22, 2021

Donald Miller's Building a Story Brand detailed the idea that all of life is like a story. There is a hero, there is a villain, there is a problem, and there is a guide who helps the hero defeat the villain and solve the problem. Can you guess which one your software product is?

That's right. The guide. You are a trusted advisor who has found a way to something better. Now you offer resources, knowledge, and tools to help your user (the hero) achieve the same.

Think Obi-Wan Kenobi, Gandalf, Alfred Pennyworth. These folks have abilities and offer support emotionally and with resources. People love them because they give and share the best parts of themselves with the world so that others can be better.

Your software must do the same. Guide your heroes to be better.

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Vibranium Shield Branding

What a superhero's tool of choice says about branding design.

6.24.2020

In Marvel's Captain America: the First Avenger, Steve Rogers is transformed from a scrawny pipsqueak into the formidable super-soldier, Captain America.

After completing a successful rescue mission using nothing but a stage-prop shield, famous inventor and colleague, Howard Stark offers to improve upon the shield design.

He presents Rogers with a dozen different designs, some outfitted with electronics to zap his adversaries, some with spikes and other baggage. He glances on the ground and picks up a round disc.

"What's it made of?" he asks.

"That's vibranium, it's completely vibration absorbent." say's Stark.

After being put through a spur of the moment bullet deflection test, courtesy of an angry love-interest, Rogers chooses the shield and gives it a fresh paint job to match his uniform.

That was in 1944.

Fast forward into 2020 and the same shield is used in later battles without losing its gusto or its alignment with Cap's identity.

Why? Because it was a simple, elegant, and timeless choice. Unhindered by fads, excess, or things that would weigh it down.

The point? treat branding design the same way. Don't be bogged down by choices simply because they are popular today, aim for something genuinely useful and timeless.

The clip from the movie, for you poor souls who haven't seen it.

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Not So Superman

What does a superhuman alien impervious to external forces lack?

12.9.2019

When the Superman comics were first introduced in 1938, the hero was a success. Mainly because no such concept had been created or seen before. Superman represented humans in an ideal form, without fault and with extraordinary abilities. However, after a couple issues, you get kinda bored seeing him win all the time, it's as if there isn't anything worth challenging him on.

10 years later, the writers of Superman introduced kryptonite, the only material substance known to weaken Superman. This single foil within the character kept the series alive and gave him something to wrestle with. It made him more human and therefore more relatable.

The point is this, as a startup, you will have an urge to puff up your chest and broadcast yourself as impervious. Apart this being false, it makes it impossible for other humans to connect with you. Do a good job, strive for greatness, but never shy away from your imperfections. Your kryptonite is what makes people love you.

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