Top Gun

“Maverick: I feel the need
Maverick, Goose: …the need for speed!
Lines from the movie Top Gun.

Whilst listening to an audio book recently (sorry for the lack of reference, I forget which one) the author posed an interesting insight.

Can you remember what type of vehicle Maverick (Tom Cruise) uses when being chased by Kelly McGillis’ character Charlie Blackwood in Top Gun? Most who have seen the movie will recall that he was riding a motorbike (a Kawasaki). Many will even recall the type of car that Kelly McGillis drove (a Porsche).

Isn’t it interesting that many can remember a scene from a movie from 1986 (yes nearly 30 years ago) but probably can’t remember much about what they did last week? Can you remember much about the last tech-vendor’s demonstration you sat through? Was it last week, last month, last year?

The audio book stated that the car chase scene in Top Gun is memorable because of the character build-up, associated story and our emotional connection with them. These features are leveraged by all good directors to make movies more compelling and memorable.

Could this equally be leveraged when OSS vendors are giving demonstrations to potential customers? Is it the stories and characters that will remain more memorable for the customers than the array of features that are usually demonstrated?

Could these techniques also be used when training new starters in the OSS industry or are there better techniques? Could they be used to promote your next big OSS project within your organisation to make the message more compelling?

Here’s a copy of the scene that I’m talking about just in case you’ve forgotten or have never seen Top Gun.

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