Shorting Our Customers

by Britton Manasco | Mar 21, 2010 | Thought Leadership

Just got finished watching Michael Lewis (one of my favorite writers) on the Charlie Rose show. He was describing his new book, The Big Short, about contrarians who bet against the sub-prime mortgage debacle and made millions doing so. 


What’s interesting to me is that you can spend a whole hour listening to Lewis tell his story – riveted and entertained – and then it just dissipates at the end. Why? Because it’s so immensely complicated. You may “get it” in the moment but you quickly “lose it” because it’s so hard to retain. 


I’ll compare that with Dan Roam’s approach to a Wall Street discussion.  While I don’t always agree with Roam’s positions, I see the power of his approach.


Roam offers a compelling alternative to talk, talk, talk. Words, quite simply, fail us. The question is whether we want to say “smart” things and look good on Charlie Rose (a stand-in for our customers in a complex, demanding environment) or if we want to actually have our audience comprehend and remember (and act on) what we said.


That strikes me as one of the key challenges of the era.