If you don't think of me when you hear the words "storytelling with data," you can stop reading now. If you do think of me—my book, my blog, or one of my presentations or workshops—please continue.
Books and reading are an important part of my children’s lives. One of the books that’s been constantly popular with my boys—much to my dismay at first, as it doesn’t have much of a plot and really no character development, but it’s grown on me over time— is called “That’s Not my Dragon…” It’s a board book with just five pages. Each of the first four starts with the same words: “That’s not my dragon.” This is followed by the reason why: its claws are too knobbly, or its tail is too prickly. The thing that isn’t right is tactilely different from the rest of the page, inviting the reader to not only see but also to feel why this dragon isn’t the right one. On the final page, the correct dragon is finally found. Success!
Hopefully, the real story I’m about to tell you will have as happy of an ending.
In an attempt to clear up any potential confusion, especially if you’re on the East Coast, I’d like to bring you into the fold on something I’ve been dealing with for the past few months.
Boston University has been offering a public-facing (non-university) workshop and certification branded "storytelling with data." I believe (and others have mentioned as well) that this causes confusion and incorrect association with the work that I do, the book that I wrote, and this blog that you are reading now. It is also in direct conflict with the US Patent & Trademark office’s issuance of my trademark registration. Despite repeated kind requests, followed by my lawyer's more firm requests, Boston University feels that “storytelling with data” is, in fact, not to be solely associated with me and my work. I want to be sure that you know directly from me, that their workshop and related certification have nothing to do with me, my work, ideas or endorsement. They are simply using my trademark and trade name, storytelling with data.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve tried to be thoughtful and purposeful in the building of my business and brand over the past 7 years. While there is much work to be done and still many opportunities to help people around the world tell their stories with data, this frustrating distraction dictates that I must take appropriate counteraction (with more lawyers and more expense). That said, I won’t let this mean in any way scaling back on the work I’m doing here for you—in fact, I’m excited to share that you will soon see some new offerings from storytelling with data, the real storytelling with data.
If you have thoughts and or comments, I’d encourage you to post them below.
Thanks for reading and for your support,