Fish With a Net, Not a Hook

Intriguing phrase, yes? But what does it mean?

Well, I came across this phrase in an article* today, and immediately fell in love with it, because it’s a stellar example of how to use an analogy in business communication.

Here’s the paragraph from which it is extracted:

Vhoto uses computer vision technology to scan your videos to find and extract the best photographic moments. “The concept that you have to press a button to take a single picture is a really old idea that goes back to chemical cameras,” Heller continues. “That no longer has to be the case. If you want a record of a great moment in your life, why not just let the camera go and then let technology sift out and sort the best end images. Our mantra is that users should think of photography as fishing with a net, not with a hook.” (italics mine)

First of all, what a great concept for an app. But what I love even more is that the creators are trying to create a perspective shift, using a vivid analogy.

– Here’s the old way of thinking.

– Here’s the new way we should be thinking.

—> And here’s the analogy that explains it and makes it stick.

Bingo. I immediately “get” it, and now remember it. Because it’s a word-picture hooking on to something already in my memory. One great analogy drives the point home.


Steven Jobs was a master of using analogy <—-(worthy read). As important as an explanation, or a summary, or a tagline can be to promoting one’s offering, there is nothing more impactful than a great analogy. It opens the door of both understanding and recall.

In what situations can analogies be effective? More than you might think!

  1. In the example above, the analogy is explaining a product.
  2. A service can be summarized nicely (“We’re the FedEx of fresh coffee delivery to your local office.”)
  3. A job role often can be compared to something more readily understood (“We’re looking for a head coach who can bring together a talented team.”)
  4. A professional skill set may benefit from comparison to something better known (“I’m the McGyver of small business websites – if it’s broken, I’ll figure out how to fix it.”)
  5. An entire company can be summarized via analogy (“We’re the Merecedes of video producers in the Nashville area.”)
  6. Target customers may have a descriptive analog (“When you’re at that proverbial fork in the road about corporate strategy – we bring the compass.”)

Lists of bullet points and long paragraphs have their place, but how much more effective it is to place a powerful analogy front-and-center.

It’s like that the switch that turns on the light bulb in the mind of your audience.

See what I did there? :>}

* Here’s the source article, about apps that are changing photography. A good read.


Also on the blog: A Business-Creating Secret that will Jump-start your Success

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