Ceci N’est Pas Un Téléphone – This Is Not A Telephone

René Magrite’s painting The Treachery of Images (that’s the image in this post) captures his intended goal, as Wikipedia puts it, of  challenging “…observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality and force viewers to become hypersensitive to their surroundings”. How’s that for a mouth full?

So what the heck is this post about? It’s about how many of you, running businesses, thinking that something for example is a pipe when as Magrite puts it “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”  or when a pipe simply is not a pipe.


I spend a great deal of time speaking to and advising companies on what to do. Often by telephone – or at least that’s what it seems like,  until I start hearing myself saying “what?”, “could you repeat that”, “you’re breaking up”, and of course that world famous “are you still there?”

So what’s going on? Simply, I’m talking to a lot of entrepreneurs trying to save some money who grew up using services like Skype and two cans and a string to get the cheapest phone calls they could – read free.

The problem is that when these methods work, they work really well. But when they don’t, they don’t work at all and make the person on the call seem like someone who doesn’t care about their business, their customers and their brand.

Oh, “come on” you’re saying. “I can’t use Skype?


Imaging this: you’re trying to raise your first $1 million, get your first major account, or recruit that key person to your team and you spend half the call scream over the bad connection. You’ve just shot yourself in the foot.

I know Skype is second nature to most everyone outside the US but if you’re serious about your business make sure you’re using the very best telephone quality you can and that means a land line. Sure, it’s more expensive, but you’re worth it!

So the next time you’re tempted to use Skype to make that important call think to yourself: “Ceci n’est pas un téléphone” or simply “This is not a telephone”.

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