As the United States selects its new leader, those of us unable to vote are also holding our breath, waiting for the outcome. What does this have to do with Product Management? My answer: (i) candidate positioning is, after all, positioning, and I wrote earlier about how I would write positioning for each candidate, and (ii) the whole world cares about the outcome. Even Canada.
On the first topic (positioning), a recent Obama speech sounds like someone in the DNC is reading this blog! The speech was given last week, and while I won’t do a blow by blow, the similarities are astonishing. Read my recommended outline (here) and Obama’s speech (here). Bravo Obama! Actually I think his acceptance speech at the DNC followed a similar outline, which I call the Roller Coaster. I tell you – if you’re doing product positioning – take a look at that outline! I’ve used a lot of positioning techniques, but always come back to the roller coaster. I’ll write more about that in a future post.
And yes, the whole world cares about the outcome of the American election. In some ways those outside the US think they should have some kind of say, because America holds such sway in the rest of the world. To satisfy their desire to do something, here’s a site that is aggregating votes in the Presidential election according to country (presumably based on an IP address look-up. According to the 745,000 votes recorded by the time of writing, 89% of their voters around the world prefer Obama. Country by country, only Macedonia prefers McCain, apparently due to a recent senate resolution in which Obama took sides with Greece in a dispute with Macedonia.
If the site linked above is representative of the opinions of internet-connected people around the world, isn’t it remarkable that nearly 90% of that sample of the world favors one candidate over the other? Surely this cannot much to do with the details of Obama’s platform; even American’s couldn’t say much about those details. No, it must be more of a comment about the overall evaluation of the Bush administration by “clickers” around the world. I’m not sure what that should count for, but if I were running for office, I think I’d pay attention to the sentiment. Having the world against America’s next choice of president can’t be a good thing for anyone. On the other hand, if the world sees a more friendly, cooperative president, it would seem to bode well.
Good luck America. Get out and vote!