A Truly Bad Demo

You've probably never heard of a great product for writers called Scrivener, which organizes research, notes and drafts. One reason you may never have heard of it is the exceptionally poor demos that are posted online.

Below is one truly bad demo for the product. Among the biggest violations of Better Demo practice: 

  • 3:00- The first three minutes show download and installation, which require two clicks. This content-free opening segment probably will lose most viewers.
  • 5:30- “You’ll understand more as we go through.” This is the same as saying, "I am incompetent to explain this feature." If you are going to show it, explain it.
  • 16:35- A long segment on changing the text color. The last time this was a hot button for any buyer was in 1983 during Ronald Reagan's first term.
  • 20:20- “One thing I haven’t shown you is the Trash Can.” This sentence is the very definition of a Feature Dump. Never in the history of software sales has the Trash Can ever been somebody's Hot Button!
  • 22:58- You finally see what makes the product unique and exciting. By comparison, the Space Shuttle only required eight minutes to achieve earth orbit. Enough said.

Can this demo be fixed? No. The demo giver shows no recognition that a user has problems they need to solve, or that viewers’ time is valuable. For example, demonstrating every aspect of trash can operation takes a full minute! It’s time to start over with a ranked list of customer Hot Buttons and create a series of new demos, each 2-3 minutes long, to address that list. For example: 

  • Using Scrivener to write a novel bottom-up (starting with your favorite scene!)
  • Using Scrivener to write a novel top-down (outline first!)
  • It’s easy to reorganize scenes with Scrivener
  • Organizing research and interviews with Scrivener
  • How Scrivener saves you hours during editing

Any one of these Hot Buttons could get a writer excited enough to buy the product. That's why they’re called “Hot Buttons!”