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Compound Opening Gambits

You can actually combine some of the above options for your Opening Gambit. Remember from Chapter 1 how Dan Warmenhoven, the CEO of Network Appliance, began his IPO road show: He started with the line “What's in a name?” (an aphorism: Juliet's immortal query to her Romeo). Then he asked, “What's an appliance?” (a rhetorical question, followed by the answer): “A toaster is an appliance.” Then Dan used the toaster as an analogy: “A toaster does one thing and one thing well: It toasts bread.”

With this triple Opening Gambit, Dan surely had his audience's attention, so he moved on to link the analogy to the rest of his presentation: “Managing data on networks is complicated. It is currently managed by devices that do many things, not all of them well. Our company, Network Appliance, makes a product called a file server. A file server does one thing and does it well: It manages data on networks.” Now Dan was ready to move to his Point B: “When you think of the explosive growth of data in networks, you can see that our file servers are positioned to be a vital part of that growth, and Network Appliance is positioned to grow as a company. We invite you to join us in that growth.


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