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Strength of an idea …. is the story you weave around it


Specialty lubricants is considered highly technical domain and it has to lead me to read and prepare a lot of technical documents. Barring a few, most of the technical documents are not a pleasure to read because they have not been written in a manner that will make reading interesting and absorbing.

One example of a book on the technical subject which was a pleasure to read is Goldmine by Michale Bille which talks about lean manufacturing. Not many authors have been able to write on this subject in a manner that makes reading a gripping experience. How does this author make me read a book on such a technical concept as if I am reading fiction ?? How does he put across the idea so strongly and interestingly that I do not want to leave the book, before completely reading it in one sitting ?? Was the iPad the first tablet type computing device? Is Elon Musk the first one to talk about electric cars? Were Indians un-aware about Mahatma Gandhi’s principles before the movie Munnabhai MBBS ?? No

Bill Gates spoke and may be introduced tablet PC a decade before Steve Jobs. Martin Eberhart and Marc Trapanning are the founders of the company where Elon Musk is CEO. Robert Anderson spoke and developed prototypes of Electric Car many decades before Tesla. Most of the Indians have studied the principles of Gandhi Ji during their school days. The fact remains, they were not the pioneers of these ideas. They were already known to some extent. Still, their story about already known concepts, thoughts, history etc was understood easily and lapped up by all. Fact remains that when it comes to iPad, we remember Steve Jobs, Electric Cars are associated with Tesla and so on. The originators of thought remain in oblivion. The reason is simple. These legends could communicate their ideas through a very simple and compelling story. They made sure that people understood how these leaders would execute their idea, how would masses benefit and how it will improve their life. Many life-changing ideas and concepts are developed but very few are able to see the light of the day, far from benefiting humanity. The challenge is greater in writings on technical subjects. Most of the ideas, theories, concepts are not interesting listening, they comprise of dull scripts, diagrams, and theories. With millennial expected to reach the position of influence and decision making in next 5-7 years, it becomes imperative for any company/brand, which aspires to be successful (even if not a legend), to weave a story around their idea and then present it to the customers. The decision-makers will not be straight-jacketed gentlemen. They will be torn jeans wearing teens, who will have less patience and seldom respect for your glorious past. They would be looking for interesting experiences and immediate gratification. Brands like us (and many more) will have to start acting right now and create a compelling story around their ideas, products, solutions, company, that are simple to understand, appeal to customers’ emotions and evoke excitement. Else, the sun will set soon on our glorious past….