The Point Of Authenticity

I draw an interesting line between “honesty” and “dishonesty” which I call “authenticity.”

The difference is that whether one is honest or dishonest depends on what is actually true, while authenticity depends instead on what is generally accepted as true.

It may be honest to say that you made $45,000 in an hour. I’ve done this myself. I’ve made a thirty-minute presentation to a client, quoting a four-week turnaround on the project with three full-time developers at $96 an hour, and walked out ten minutes later with a cheque for the balance. (A quick run through on a calculator tells me this is $46,080.)

But whether this is authentic depends on your own perspective. When I say I’ve done this, that’s not hard to believe; but when I suggest you can do this, as I might do on a sales page, skepticism rears its head.

It may be honest to say that I have done a thing, or even to say that you could do it. Indeed, I believe anyone suitably self-confident with a well-prepared presentation could get a similar cheque; you don’t need technical expertise so much as you need a nice shirt and tie.

Of course, then you need to deliver three full-time developers for a month who complete the assigned project to the client’s satisfaction, which is rather less trivial… not to mention you need to get the appointment with the client in the first place, again not a trivial process.

But when I’m trying to sell you something, I’m not going to tell you that these things are hard. I’m going to be Rob Schneider.

Kick him in the balls!

I mean, I’m not trying to be your fucking parent, I’m trying to sell you shit. I’ll still tell you all the stuff you need to know, but if you’re at all normal you don’t want to hear “this is hard and will take time.” You want to hear “any retard can do this right now.”

And somewhere between the honesty of “this is hard and will take time” and the bullshit of “any retard can do this right now,” there is authenticity: “with a little instruction, you can do this.”

With a little weasel-wording, obviously. When I say “this,” I mean “give a presentation and collect a cheque the same day.” It will probably not be a $45k cheque. It will probably not be for software development. It will probably not involve three other people working full-time for a month to make it happen.

But that’s authentic. You can easily believe that with a little training you can give a presentation and collect a cheque the same day.

And tomorrow I’m going to close out the month with why I don’t teach that sort of thing.

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