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Why Every Marketer/Sales Person Should Read Richard Feynman’s Lectures On Physics

by David Brock on November 13th, 2009

Feynman PicturesI spend most of my time working with high technology companies.  I’ve been involved in technology most of my career and if pressed, have to admit I’m a bit of a geek.  Part of my interest in technology may stem from the fact that by education I’m a physicist and engineer.

One of the challenging things in working with technology companies is that we seem to revel in our complexity.  The more syllables our words have the better.  New acropnyms and buzzwords are things of beauty.  Every presentation has to have dozens of slides that present every feature, function and detail of our products—-all in 10 point Arial.

It’s true, technology companies deal with very complex issues.  I love speaking with the researchers at my semiconductor clients.  It’s inspiring to speak with software architects and product designers at software companies.  There’s a lot of exciting and very complex stuff.

My question is, why do we have to encumber our customers with this complexity?  Just because we have had to overcome tremendous technology challenges to develop our products and bring them to market, do we have to saddle our customers with that complexity?

Many years ago, I was privileged to meet Dr. Richard Feynman — a Nobel Prize winner in Physics.  He’s famous for many things, but his lectures and writing on Physics continue to be inspirational.  He was able to take the most complex theories in physics and describe them in terms that anyone could understand.  He made physics exciting, not only to physicists, but to lay people.  He could describe very difficult theories with great clarity and simple examples.

Somehow, it seems to me that marketers and sellers should take Feynman’s books as style guides in how to take the very complex things we design and build, but explain them in simple and compelling terms.  Feyman made physics exciting to everyone with this method, perhaps we could use his model to capture the hearts and minds of our customers.

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