We human beings hate losing. It puts a psychological anxiety of not having to own and we are missing out on something. That “some thing” could be adulation, attention, rewards and many other things that seem to enrich our superficial lives. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real, ladies and gentlemen.
When we see a sign like the one below, what do you think is going through our mind?
OMG! I got to get it because the deal is for a limited time only! It will never happen again in my lifetime and I gotta buy it!
The game of FUD
F.U.D. (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). We in the technology business have seen tons of tactics to entice someone to buy our products or switch allegiance to the our side. And we do it ourselves too, consciously and unconsciously, intentionally or unintentionally. There is no denying to that.
Based on what is known, and what is unknown to us, we share information which are available to us, in ways we want to influence and effect. But let it be known that we do not have a world view of everything, and thus, we chose to believe what we see and hear and experience. As human beings, we cannot 100% subscribe to be fearless, 100% certain that we are right, and 100% without a doubt do things or acts upon things that will be 100% correct. The outcome of FUD to create a convoluted messed up thought process that will deliver the desired effect and action. It is the universal Law of Cause and Effect.
The effect the marketers want you to think will speed up or delay your decision making, throw a spanner in to the thought process, and illogically gives you meaningless and meaningful (to your desires) heebee jeebees. The feeling of loss or missing out creates “displaced anxiety“, a Freudian concept where the projected fear and emotions will land into something that felt safer, even if the safer “target” may be irrelevant. And it is this irrelevant decision that marketers want to you take, because what they are selling is the “safer” decision.
The Apple con
To the Apple fanboys and cults, you don’t buy every version of iPhone released. But Apple has done a great job with FUD that made die-hard believers believe that FOMO will shame them to eternity, lock them into the annals of humiliation. And so, the vicious cycle of pointless upgrades and updates begin to form, and like a tractor beam, pulling and sucking in these pigs to slaughter. Resistance is indeed futile.
But despite this looking like a con job, we applaud Apple’s marketing, Steve Job’s vision, Jony Ive’s industriousness for designs.
My experiences of FUD
When I was a NetApp back in the early 2000’s, EMC was Evil Machine Company. NetApp had an old Auspex rack which they turned into an aquarium displayed in the lobby of their HQ in Sunnyvale, just to rub it in. Sun Microsystems used to run crazy ads about Microsoft Windows; Scott McNealy’s “McNealy-ism” were legendary. To the Unix and Linux zealots, Microsoft was always the Dark Side.
In user conferences and events, I have seen my share of FUDs. Last year, my friend Dan was enticed to join the Nutanix Xperience event briefly at Vegas even though he was flown there at Dell’s expense for the Dell Tech World. The highlight was meeting with Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Dan’s a big basketball fan.
Just last week, Pure Storage dished out a blog calling out the BS of Dell EMC Powerstore.
And I have plenty more of these types of stories to tell my grandchildren too.
Is it correct?
And you question these competitors, these technology companies whether their FUDs were ethically, morally, politically correct. What about your own employer, who also put out their versions of FUDs? In the end, there is no holier-than-thou winner here. Everyone does it whether it is in the technology business we are in or any other businesses.
If you have an intention to get someone to buy your product, your solution, you are probably sub-consciously putting your own spin to the words you say. You are already creating FUD because you want the listeners and the receivers to partake in your patch of the courtyard, because you want them to be your buddy of the day.
So you have drank the Kool-Aid. Now what? Now you are a typical hypocritical piece of ****.
In the end, FUDs are real, and FUDs are for real.