Indoctrination Is the Pied Piper of Your Business

Season 3, Episode 9 of the HBO show Silicon Valley displays exactly why companies need indoctrination.

If you haven’t seen the show, here’s a quick set up: Richard Hendricks (played by Thomas Middleditch) has developed a revolutionary file compression platform called Pied Piper. The first few seasons of the show are about his misadventures in securing funding for his start-up and bringing his product to market.

So they finally get it launched and quickly reach a milestone of 500,000 downloads. An amazing feat. But the number of Daily Active Users, the number of people actually using the app, is abysmal. Only about 19,000 people are using it.

They put together a focus group to find out why people aren’t using it, what they don’t like about the app.

Richard is watching through a two-way mirror as the people in the focus group say things about the Pied Piper app like, “It totally freaked me out.” And, “It made me feel stupid.”

Richard busts into the focus group and commences to explain, in full detail, abut how the app works. When he’s done people are like “Yeah, I’d totally use this, now that I know how it works.”

Can you see the problem here?

A bunch of engineers created and rolled out a product that’s more advanced than anything available on the market.

But they just threw it out there, without any documentation, guidance or education to the layperson about how to use it and what to expect. When left to their own devices, people were overwhelmed and confused.

And most confused minds would rather move on to something they already know, like and trust. Regardless of how revolutionary the confusing product might be. As Richard says in despair, “You can’t fight public opinion.”

And so it is with your business

You can’t bust into every user’s experience and explain what they can’t see.

Creating and using an indoctrination strategy keeps confusion at bay and helps draw people into your business.

Like the Pied Piper of fable. And not just once, but daily.

When creating a new business be sure you incorporate indoctrination into your marketing.

If you’ve been in business already, no worries. You can retrofit your existing marketing with indoctrination to boost engagement and sales.

What they say about planting trees is also true for indoctrination strategies:

The best time to do it is 20 years ago. The next best time is today.


Get your 5 C’s of Indoctrination Checklist here.