>The Folly of the Performer

>It is important to understand one's role in any organization and/or endeavor. Some people have a natural inclination to create. Others possess the ability to sell. Both concepts overlap and people sometimes get confused about their abilities and their proper role.

To create and develop a composition is an invisible enterprise. That is, it is often done by one person or a small group of like-minded individuals behind closed doors. It can be created in its entirety and unveiled all at once, or it can be exposed in stages. Either way, the finished product speaks for itself.

At least, this is the ideal. However, the nature of the discovery-creation-unveiling process gives it the weakness of permanence. Once it is written, it is written in stone. It can be updated, recalled, or added to, but the thing still exists in the minds of the audience—and great first impressions are critical.

This is where marketers come in. Once a thing exists, it is the job of these people to perform the task of finding a home for the thing. They can overcome bad first impressions with the strength of their character and proper promoting of the hidden gems within a misunderstood product.

Their proper role is to find a home for the thing, not to reinvent the thing.

This is often the folly of the performer. Because the fate of the product depends upon their ability to relate it to their audience, marketers often think that the product's real form is irrelevant. They fancy themselves creators, and use words and stories to make a product out to be more than it really is.

But a product—even a fictional story or a piece of fine art—is what it is, and not what a skilled performer can make you believe it is. Any marketing materials that are created must be dependent upon the original creation. If not, then they are devoid of value. Every time a performer "gets away with it" he's really only building himself a house of cards, and it doesn't take long before the edifice collapses under its own weight—often without a clear connection to this root cause.

If you want to tell stories, GREAT! Create stories, and hone your craft. If you're trying to sell a product, I'd recommend selling the product, not some trumped-up fiction about the product.

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