Your Product Is a Distraction
Magicians know all about the use of distractions. Flash something shiny over here, while they change something over there. Like lemmings we, the audience, stare at the flashiest thing in sight, unable to see the dull and mundane.
Here's the problem. Your product is flashy. No matter how drab the colors, the pupils of your customers, partners, and investors will feel the gravitational pull of your product in any conversation where it's present.
Want to talk strategy? Well, you better hide your product under your mattress. If it glimmers into the consciousness of your audience, you'll have to revisit strategy another day.
Products are so distracting that once they rear their lovely head, your audience will have trouble re-focusing on another topic.
Once upon a time, I tried to brainstorm with my investors about contacts that they might have in particular customer segments. Foolishly, I sought to warm them up with the latest view of my product. Two hours of feedback on colors, buttons, and approaches ensued. No matter how hard I tried, they would not let the product leave the stage, ensuring that they didn't have time to contemplate how their Rolodex might be helpful.
Products are exciting and fun. Too exciting and fun. Whether you're speaking to your team, investors, or customers, you'll need to be selective about when you let your product attend meetings...because it will always get all of the attention.