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January 03, 2006

Guy's Golden Touch

If only I could get paid for answering the question, “How can I get people to evangelize my product?” I would be able to stop working and play hockey every day. Alas, there is no way to get paid for this information, so I give it to you for free.

The short answer is called “Guy’s Golden Touch.” You might think this means, “Whatever Guy touches turns to gold.” If only this were true. The actual definition is, “Whatever is gold, Guy touches.”

Bookmark this: The key to evangelism is a great product. It is easy, almost unavoidable, to catalyze evangelism for a great product. It is hard, almost impossible, to catalyze evangelism for crap. (Evangelism, after all, comes from the Greek word for “bringing the good news,” not “the crappy news.”)

This is a duhism if I’ve ever heard one: “I guess we should create a great product.” Duh! As opposed to a crappy one? The salient question, however, becomes, “What are the characteristics of a great product?” Here is the answer.

Think: DICEE

  • Deep. A great product is deep. It doesn’t run out of features and functionality after a few weeks of use. Its creators have anticipated what you’ll need once you come up to speed. As your demands get more sophisticated, you discover that you don’t need a different product.
  • Indulgent. A great product is a luxury. It makes you feel special when you buy it. It’s not the least common denominator, cheapest solution in sight. It’s not necessarily flashy in a Ferrari kind of way, but deep down inside you know you’ve rewarded yourself when you buy a great product.
  • Complete. A great product is more than a physical thing. Documentation counts. Customer service counts. Tech support counts. Consultants, OEMS, third-party developers, and VARS count. Blogs about it counts. A great product has a great total user experience—sometimes despite the company that produces it.
  • Elegant. A great product has an elegant user interface. Things work the way you’d think they would. A great product doesn’t fight you—it enhances you. (For all of Microsoft’s great success this is why it’s hard to name a Microsoft product that you’d call “great.”) I could make the point that if you want to see if a company’s products are elegant, you need only look at its chairman’s presentations.
  • Emotive. A great product incites you to action. It is so deep, indulgent, complete, and elegant that it compels you to tell other people about it. You’re not necessarily an employee or shareholder of the company that produces it. You’re bringing the good news to help others, not yourself.

If you want a smashing example of DICEE product, you need not look any further than iPod. Deep: thousands of songs, podcasts, and recently video plus third-party add-ons that have added functionality Apple never anticipated. Indulgent: yes, you could buy a cheaper MP3 player, but that’s not the point, is it? Complete: total integration with online buying, Apple’s support (other than a battery or two), and online support by independent web sites. Elegant: One wheel does it all, right? Emotive: How did you first find out about it?

So if you want raging, inexorable thunderlizard evangelists for your product, make sure it’s DICEE.

Written at Ilikai Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii


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Its great iead. Also I have seen the Zen presentation blog. Its really helpful for me. How not to do things at the presentation?
Your sugession on emails helped me a lot. I have created my blog and writing ariticles for it.

I’ve taken a quick look at your postings, which are very interesting. Lots of material and ideas! Congrats on being so focused!

The advice given in your blog is fantastic and very complimentary to my site, check it out Hope this helps someone

You've described the kind of service that returns me to certain stores time after time. Unfortunately good customer service will not exist while bean counters run a business. On a balance sheet customer service costs money, it doesn't make money. Bean counters don't have enough imagination to realize that good customer service might cost money but bad customer costs more.

Personally, I think that the most important thing about any product is the way if makes you feel when buying it.


André Hedetoft
giving you goosebumps. one movie at a time.

Thanks for allowing me to 'DICEE' one of our services on my blog www.charlenechong.typepad.com. Hope this helps with our evolution!

I enjoyed Art of the Start and it's great to now have a blog with daily reminders of the many salient points it contains. Thanks.

Another thing --along with DICEE-- that seems to generate and encourage evangelism is the producers openness towards the product. Talking about the product, providing others a place to talk about it and empowering this action, makes people talk. At some point people take this talk outside the given boundaries (newsgroup or web forum) to their real life (coffee brakes, home, bars etc) or to their other communication channels (web forums, instant messaging, emails, blog comments) where they share it with friends and relatives.

If you see other people talking about something, it's easy to join in and be a part of this group. Evangelizing or talking about a product that you think no one else knows, uses or talks about, becomes easily depressing after a while.

What comes to the deepness of the product (this might also answer John's comment above). I think what Guy is trying to say is:

Instead of implementing every possible function that you could imagine, implement all the functions needed to accomplish the work. Deepness becomes even deeper if you give people different ways to access these functions so they can use the one that fits the best to their working style.

This is an important list, and a great acronym. All too often the product idea is just run down the pipe to engineering then out the door, because marketing said the customers wanted it in red with two bells.

IF you want to create market dominating products you MUST work your butt off to understand the customers and figure out how to delight them at all levels. Guy's list is a great way to break down the elements of delight and remember them the next time you are in a product planning meeting.

Just say, "Hey, is this thing really DICEE, or is it just dicey?"

Is CocaCola a great product? How does it satisfy the DICEE rule?

Yeah! Congratulations on the launch of your new blog!

Many happy entries and readings,
Laurel Delaney,
Global Guru

Another great post but I wonder about depth. What about the great reaction against cellphones overcomplicated by add-ons and non traditional phone functions? How does that fit in with your depth criterion?

Guy, I've been a fan of your work for years. Thanks for deciding to blog.


Welcome to the blogosphere! I enjoyed reading The Art of the Start several months back and I have internalized several of the practical points you have made in that book and elsewhere. Looking forward to your blog postings!

as i read through your post i found myself thinking about the new Dyson vacuum cleaner we bought. i know, it is a vacuum cleaner, but it is defintely DICEE. Dyson = DICEE??? Sounds similar

Your ideas is very practical and logic. You ar one of the best writer I found so far.

Welcome to the blogosphere (and the club). You're 100% right about this.


This is freaking awesome! I have no idea how you're not gonna run out of stuff around mid-February at this rate. Thank you! You just moved ahead of Scott Adams on my blog visits because he is having us critique self-referential cartoons today.

I guess you've never seen the "Hello Kitty" product, it has no DICEE.

DICEE. Love it. Great acronym, fantastic that you're blogging.

I'm with you, Guy - as soon as I read iPod, all I had to do was look over at mine, linked to my iBook. Perfect!

And Happy New Year Guy!

Evangelizing....you elegantly speak of what it takes. Your group put it on the map when at Apple. It was the first I had heard of this 'strange' concept. I remember those days very well.

In addition to the message, I have always found it to be a professional benchmark to be "inspired" with any company I consider for a client. It dovetails with your concept...

Michael Acheson

A variation on the same theme:
- It's not viral if people don't understand how to use it.
We learned this lesson from the first version of our website.

Thank you for the post. It is great to have you in the blogosphere.

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