Getting Real by 37signals. The book is a collection of ideas about creating simple, user-focused software, but its core messages are as relevant to copywriting or any other kind of media that interacts with your audience.
The authors state…
Getting Real delivers better results because it forces you to deal
with the actual problems you’re trying to solve instead of your
ideas about those problems.
Which is quite true. Your products, messages and ideas will resonate better with your audience when what you do and what you say is all about them.
But where I disagree with the authors of Getting Real is their later contention that “old rules don’t apply anymore,” and by inference, that what they’re calling for is somehow a new approach to doing things.
Look back at the history of successful ad campaigns and you’ll find that among the things done right was to showcase a message or product in a way that put the needs of the audience ahead of the company that was doing the selling.
Simplicity and being user-focused isn’t about old ways versus new.
It’s about the right way versus the wrong way to communicate and sell effectively.