Anil John
Making Digital Services Secure and Trustworthy

Anil John

The Monomyth Fallacy of Digital Service Delivery

 Tweet  Share  Comment  Print  Email

A classic and successful story telling pattern that persists across time and regions is the Monomyth, or the Hero’s Journey. Unfortunately, when it comes to digital service deployments, many implementers believe that they are the Hero. Wrong!

We are wrapping up the thanksgiving holiday weekend in the U.S. and I’ve spent the last couple of days reading and reflecting on approaches and strategies for successfully launching digital products and services.

The hero’s journey

An underlying theme across many successes was the compelling use of storytelling while utilizing the Monomyth or the Hero’s Journey as the framework:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces

The implementer is not the hero

Digital service delivery programs, especially in the public sector, often have to fight apathy, inertia, politics, resistance to innovation and so much more in their struggle to deliver secure and trustworthy digital services.

In the face of such adversity, the belief that you are doing the right things for the right reasons is often the sole guiding light. So it becomes very easy to make it all about your struggle. But that is not a path to success.

It is important to realize that when it comes to the success of digital service deployments, the implementers are not Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) or Neo (The Matrix).

Making the customer the hero

The customer is the hero of this journey and their adoption and use of the service is the sole metric that will decide the success or failure of the program. The best role that implementers and suppliers can play in this journey is to be the trusted mentors on the hero’s journey.

Your job, should you choose to undertake it, is to understand the quest the hero is on and provide the wise counsel, training and tools that allow them to succeed.

Make their success, your success. Be the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Morpheus to their Luke and Neo. It is a different, but just as satisfying role to play!

If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are … a different game you should play.



Did you find this interesting? Don't miss any new posts. Sign up to automatically receive them now!

I will never share, rent, or sell your information to anyone. Cancel anytime.

This blog post first appeared on Anil John | Blog ( The opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent my employer’s view in any way.

By on |

Continue The Conversation ...

I would love to know your thoughts on this blog post. Please leave a comment below!

I am a Public Interest Technologist. I help technical leaders make digital services secure and trustworthy. Learn more »

Free Updates

I will never share, rent, or sell your information to anyone