Words are Hard

“Be slow to speak, and only after having first listened quietly, so that you may understand the meaning, leanings, and wishes of those who do speak. Thus you will better know when to speak and when to be silent.” (Ignatius)

I’m a Product Marketing Manager at a startup that’s redefining and reintroducing itself. Our CEO likes to say that for the last 5 years, we’ve been in stealth startup mode, and I couldn’t agree more.

We’re spending time going over our vision, mission, and purpose. We’re connecting to underlying reasons for why we exist, the problems we’re solving with our products, the kind of world we want to create.

It’s got me thinking…

The words we use to describe ourselves, have incredible power over our direction, pace, and trajectory. There’s a sense of definition and cohesion that comes from landing on words to describe yourself, your team, your organization, and what you create.

Words can be a platform that encourages ongoing creativity, energy, and perseverance; or words can forebode a sense of entitlement, self-importance, and lock-in.

I want the words we land on, to speak to both our reality and our aspirations. I want those words to help us go deep in solving problems, and to go wide in trying to solve it for as many as possible.

And yet…

Brevity and intrigue are much better for a startup reintroducing itself.

Today was a reminder that words are hard. Not in the traditional sense of the thing, but in an editorial sense. Learning what not to say is as important as knowing what to say.