Several months ago I read a blog comment from John Zagula that included these hieroglyphics:
P > B > F
At first, I thought the comment might be spam -- What could this strange equation be? Then I realized the referring link pointed to a website for the Marketing Playbook, by John Zagula and Richard Tong. And finally, I discovered the meaning of P > B > F:
“Proof is stronger than Benefits, which are stronger than Features.”
You say you're the cheapest? Prove it. You say you're the easiest to maintain? Show it.
We could talk about how a new product launch might use this formula (and it should), although, at this time, I'd prefer to discuss how this formula can be used in your career. Here's a secret, this formula works well because of another formula:
Features are easier than Benefits, and Benefits are easier than Proof
When I say easier, I mean features are easier to produce (doesn't mean Features will produce results). Let me give you an example. When you first start working for a company you'll notice that most coworkers spend a great deal of time talking about all the wonderful things they can do. And yet, many of your well-intentioned coworkers seldom make anything happen. That's because they're focused on features -- I'm a business analyst; I graduated from this university…
There's so much noise at the feature layer that it's difficult to think, much less make it happen. So people who are looking for results move on to benefits. Still, benefits are just talk. Although, a better kind of talk -- I can make your life easier; I can save you $1.2 million. And because management has been scorched by past promises, even benefits aren't enough to get most projects off the ground.
By now, most people just give up and embrace the belief that some things are impossible to accomplish within an organization -- their genius is turned to gruel.
There are a handful of pioneers, however, who are still asking questions and feeding their genius. Their genius recognizes proof as the rocket fuel that propels projects into the rarified air of success.
Because proof shows management that a project will work instead of telling management that a project will work. And once you move from telling to showing, management will continue to go to you to get the experience they need to make decisions -- Because you've got the proof; and the proof is the experience. The experience helps management understand complex issues that would otherwise disappear into minds clouded by the voices of people who have lost the courage to prove it.
Yes, it may take more time, tenacity, and talent to create demo stories, product platforms, or samples that demonstrate the value of your ideas. Still, you'll find that as you exercise your proof muscles, it will become easier to press the proof button.