Doing the work and presenting the work

Would the iPhone have been as successful if Apple shipped it without that presentation from Steve Jobs?

Given how exceptional the device turned out to be, it just might have. But, that presentation sure helped.  A lot. In fact, years of doing those phenomenal presentations meant the iPhone was already set up for success.

There are many of us who separate doing the work and presenting the work. And, I’ve heard many talk about how they feel they’re good at doing the work but not as good as presenting it. I’m definitely one of them. I’ve moaned about it in the past. And, even if I moan about it less, I often slip on giving enough thought to the presentation and narrative.

But, as in the case of the iPhone, presenting that piece of genius in a way that befit it was an important part of doing the work. It is hard to separate the effect of the making and the sharing. Sure, it would be impossible to present something that isn’t built. But, once it is built, the presentation is a key part.

The presentation isn’t always a presentation of course. It is about building and sharing a story that resonates with the folks who’d like to buy it. We also call this marketing.

Companies that succeed do a phenomenal job marrying great R&D (research and development) and marketing. We need to do so in our work as well.

Do the work first. But, don’t forget to take a step back afterward and share a story that resonates. Give your work the story it deserves.