A game for marketing: 1000-year-old man


This is a great game which I learnt at the Business Improv Lab, but we play it at home with our 2 children (Gabriella – 11 and Max – 9).

Imagine that a 1,000 year old man has walked into the room. You are then told which thing (eg fridge, camera, TV, microwave, car….) which you need explain to him. Tricky. Trickier than you think.

Try it now. What did you discover? You need get back to first principles. You need to assume nothing. You need to keep it simple.

Perhaps every technology marketing company should play this game before they vomit up a load of marketing-techno-babble onto their website.

We said a 1,000 year old man. But what about a 100 year man? Just 100 years ago was 1911 and below are examples of the latest car and plane.

Makes you think, doesn’t it? It has spurred us to create a family project: a timeline. A LONG piece of paper graduated in years starting at the Year 0000 AD running through to 2011 AD, and when a topic comes up we will put it on the timeline. So we talk about Elizabethan times, we put it on. Discussion about the invention of the internet, or the first commercial flight, it gets added. You get the idea.

SHARETweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestDigg thisShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Ian Gotts is CEO and Chairman of Nimbus Partners, an established and rapidly growing global software company, headquartered in the UK. He is a very experienced senior executive and serial entrepreneur, with a career spanning 25 years. Ian has co-authored a number of books including “Common Approach, Uncommon Results”, published in English and Chinese and in its second edition, "Why Killer Products Don't Sell" and books covering Cloud computing from the perspective of both the prospective buyer, and the software vendor. Having begun his career in 1983 as an engineer for British Rail, Ian then spent 12 years at Accenture (nee Andersen Consulting) specialising in the project management of major business critical IT projects. During this time, he spent two years as an IT Director, seconded to the Department for Social Security (DSS), with a department of over 500 and a budget responsibility of 40 million pounds.