Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Make no promises you cannot keep

No one outside Apple’s top ranks knows whether the iPhone 5 (or whatever they’re going to call it — or them, if there are two new models, not just one) was planned for a fall release all along, or whether it slipped and was originally intended for a June/July release.
And they never will know. An in vogue business maxim is "under promise, over deliver". That's a great business policy. But even better is to make no promises at all. That translates into "seldom promise, over deliver. Not as clever or as pithy, for sure, but it certainly is utilitarian. Salesman and CEOs have an awfully hard time following this advice. They want to say something - ANYTHING - to assure their prospects or their prospective shareholders. But, as Abraham lincoln once said:

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Yes, it's important to under promise and over deliver. But by all means, your first option should be to make no promises at all.

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