Snowflakes and Buzzword Bingo

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It’s been a while but I’m back with another marketing rant! Some of you may already know my Fooled By Marketing Metrics which is probalbly a series I am most proud of and I feel I got some more up my sleeves somewhere in the future.

But I am a Snowflake

One of my activities is helping startups explain their technology to all types of audiences. Where in the market do they fit, what is their true unique selling point, where do they differentiate themselves? And every single time in those conversations there is someone at the table trying to tell me how UNIQUE they are and how what they do is so fundamentally different from what everyone else is doing.


Every technical solution in the market is a combination of trade-offs. Between the inception of the product’s concept and the GA (general availability) of that product, engineering and product management have had dozens of decisions to make which path to choose. The end-result is a unique combination of decisions that ultimately are your product. This makes EVERY solution as unique as any-one else’s. 

Buzzword Bingo

In an attempt to force themselves upon the audience as unique snowflakes you’ll see companies trying to change the rules of the game after kickoff. You’ll see them redefining (undefined) buzzwords. We have seen this with Cloud / Software Defined / Webscale / HyperConverged / …
I could give examples with every buzzword but I’ll try to stay professional for this once.

It’s even worse if companies try to invent new buzzwords for existing technologies, just in order to make their implementation of it look like a unique snowflake.

Be the BEST in your implementation

Remember the ‘my checkbox is bigger than yours’ post I wrote recently? With a simple example (VAAI + fast cloning) I tried to show that having a checkbox marked doesn’t mean you did it well and it most certainly doesn’t tell you’re done with it!


My question for 2015 to all (technical) marketing people out there: explain me what you do, how you do it, why you do it. Not just that you did it. Tell me what your options were in the design process, tell me why you went left instead of right. Tell me what the consequenses are if that ever would prove to have been not the best option in the first place. All in all: tell me how well thought your version of a snowflake is

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