Tom Wilson's Startup Lesson
In the fall of 2012, at 85, Tom Wilson passed away. It’s likely you don’t know Tom Wilson. That is, unless you played football for the Houston Cougars. After all, he was their trainer for decades.
From 1953 until 1993, Wilson was the trainer who created “camp fun,” the training camp for the football team. Seniors would sneak peeks as Wilson would deliver the first speech to freshmen.
They knew something that the freshman didn’t.
Halfway thru the speech, Wilson, for impact and emphasis, would take a knife out of his pocket and stab himself in the leg. It was a display of strength. It was a display of commitment. It was a display of intensity.
Can you imagine what freshman might have thought at that moment? They didn’t know, like the seniors did, that Wilson had a prosthetic leg.
We need to “see” it
In that moment, Wilson knew how to grab attention and focus their thinking. He knew that the visual would and could mean more than simply talking.
We’ve all seen others like Wilson that understood the impact of a strong visual. Whether it’s a commercial, an incredible product aesthetic, a poster, or a set of slides – we know the power of a galvanizing visual.
Are you missing something?
And yet, startups and product development teams everywhere focus on brilliant software engineers without thinking about design.
I saw this tweet from a friend today.
I thought it was brilliant for two reasons: the designer and the copywriter. To me, this is common sense, and yet, too many people just look to hire great developers. Nick Summers wrote a convincing related article this week.
I've shared with you the stats on this blog (from 6k to over 66k monthly views in 8 months simply by writing daily) – and I'm not selling a product here. What could a copywriter add to your team, by way of attention and traffic?
Go Change the World
So today, in honor of Tom Wilson, let me encourage you to find a designer and a copywriter and go change the world.