Is it just Americans that say this? What is it ? Well for most of us its the HP bottle of tomato ketchup or spicy hot chilli sauce we use in our favourite curry dish on a Friday night. For technology however, the analogy of a bottle of ‘Secret Sauce’ can take on many different connotations.
It could be you as a person, or it could the product you are selling, or the way you deliver a service.
The great thing about it is that it engenders some form of mystery and furtiveness that makes the person you are talking think “Jez, this guy has something to offer – I had better listen because he has the Secret Sauce ”.
For many of us we think of Secret Sauce as perhaps our USP – Unique Selling Point – but lets consider this:
Do you really have anything that we can call Secret Sauce? ( be honest )
If not, why not?
Do your competitors have Secret Sauce?
if so, how did they get it?
Can we create some Secret Sauce?
Do we have the ingredients and skills?
Do we know someone who has?
Can I get trained to develop my own sauce?
Deliberately I avoid making technology an ingredient of the Secret Sauce. Why? Well for sure there is some clever innovative code development buried deep inside technology, but there is such an open collaborative industry at work these days, that having any ‘Secret Sauce’ is increasingly difficult to maintain. Look at mobile technology. Secrets perhaps but pretty much everyone is doing the same thing. Look at cloud. Ditto. Look at storage. Ditto. And so on.
OK so its not the products, What is it? Well in my view its largely through the people you know, and how you can work together to build something unique or different. You may have a small window to claim that you have Secret Sauce before someone leaks onto Twitter or your competition just reads your web site or something like that.
So it makes me think that as we all talk and sell technology that we too often overlook whether our conversation contains any clues or references to our own personal ‘Secret Sauce’, and whether we consider this important enough to help us close the business or whatever we are talking about.
Pass the Secret Sauce please – my Bacon and Egg sandwich is going cold