Beautiful, Stunning and Blah

By Doug Self

The product launch press release in the tech industry is a strange thing. In planning the release, every word is scrutinized, strategic messaging set, and executive quotes meticulously crafted.source:PCWorld

I’m sure they’ve tested keywords and the messaging ties into a broader company directive, but my eyes glaze over when I read the inevitable stunning (here, from Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon) or beautiful (Google, HP, Twitter).

Instead of rehashing adjectives knowing full well journalists are only interested in the new products’ specs, features, and capabilities, let’s shift to telling the reader how the new device will help me do my job better, have more fun, or make me smarter. I won’t advocate elimination of certain words, but suggest carefully monitoring the use of these:

  • Stunning
  • Beautiful
  • Next-generation
    • Let’s do better than, “This is the model after the previous model.”
  • Amazing
    • To be fair, likely apt in some cases, but on the list for sheer volume of use.
  • Revolutionary
    • It probably isn’t. Very few products are, and they wouldn’t need to say it. In Apple’s press release for the iPad Mini they said, “every inch an iPad, yet in a revolutionary design you can hold in one hand.” (source) Was the iPad revolutionary in changing the landscape of personal and mobile computing? Yes. Is the smaller form factor of a new model revolutionary? Absolutely not.
  • Disrupt
    • Similar to revolutionary, many say, few are actually disruptive. To qualify, you must completely redefine or create an entirely new industry. Examples that qualify: MakerBot, Uber, Nest.

I’ve crafted my fair share of press release and am not free of guilt with these or other overused terms. Let’s buck this trend and take a cue from the most successful tech products of late and simplify.

We’ll be groundbreaking, innovative, and it’ll probably go viral.

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