“Boiling the Frog” and Demos


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A laboratory experiment was purported to have been carried out in which a frog was boiled to death – semi-voluntarily.

In the experiment, a frog was placed in water, initially at room temperature. The temperature was raised, very slowly, until finally the temperature was high enough to kill the frog (poor froggy..!).

The conclusion was that if very small, incremental changes are made to one’s environment, we may not notice these changes – even if the aggregate sum of the changes is large, overall.

This same concept can be applied to demos… We may create a demo for version 1.0 of a new product – a demo that is crisp and focused – but the addition of new capabilities, multiple new versions, modules, add-ons, etc., may yield a demo that incrementally becomes complex, confusing, and too detailed. We have effectively boiled ourselves…!

Copyright © 2008 The Second Derivative – All Rights Reserved.

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


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