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An informal, stream-of-consciousness reflection on business ideas, events and issues in modern business, modern life and with some specifics to the web-software industry by Paul Tomori, Internet Entrepreneur

Under Promise and Over Deliver
By Paul Tomori
Monday, September 21, 2009 at 15:33:55 (EDT)

I have had my share of painful lessons in business. Injuries by misadventure... skinning my knees as I fall upstairs. And no, this is not false humility. Nor, do I believe myself to be inept. I am just another businessperson attempting to make my mark and to do so with professionalism and precision. Alas, business is rarely an exact science. We size things up. We identify what we believe to be our best opportunities and biggest threats. Sometimes, we over-commit resources to the wrong areas. Sometimes we under-commit resources to the right areas. Over time, we have experienced a strong net gain compared to some of our peers. Compared to others in our peer group, we appear to be laggards. So be it, we operate from an internal scorecard.

One lesson I have learned, and which I must occasionally relearn is the concept of under promising and over delivering. As a customer myself, I abhor unkept promises by companies I buy from, so in turn I make a valiant effort to not pass that feeling on to others in their dealings with me.

Today, at breakfast, I observed a pretty glaring example of a company that over promises and under delivers. Check out the picture below of Presidents Choice 7 Grain cereal. Look at the cereal box photo with that copious array of little dried strawberries. Then look in the foreground. Where are all the strawberries? I did not manipulate the photo at all. I simply poured from the box and shook my head at what I got. Sifting through the lot, I still didn't see anywhere near the number of buried strawberries that the box picture depicts.

Fortunately, we had a container of fresh strawberries in the fridge, so I didn't go without. In fact, besides astronauts, who needs to settle for freeze-dried strawberries anyway?!

Presidents Choice kind of discredits themselves and undermines their own brand with this kind of deceptive failed promise. You agree?

The exciting promise on the box. The disappointing reality in the bowl

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