Hype vs Substance

Sizzle vs Steak

Hype is great when you can back it up. Lebron James deserves the hype as the best player in the NBA today. He has proven time and again that he is the best on the court at any given moment.

Hype is often necessary. Great products deserve to be discovered by a larger audience. Apple had the hype machine in full motion for the original i-Pod which was a great product.

Hype does however, have a downside.

Hype without substance has no value.

New artists peddled by one of the big record labels often have this problem. Fashion brands can too. PR companies, savvy

PR companies, savvy marketers and big ad budgets can push a fairly standard product to the forefront while lesser known, truly great products go under the radar. Eventually, the better offering wins the acclaim but it isn’t always the case.

Joey Roth examines a similar idea in the field of work vs talk.

He proposes there are three types: the Charlatan, The Martyr and the Hustler.

The Charlatan

The Charlatan is all hype. No significant work, no real substance. The Charlatan is the con-man, the big ad budget and sub-standard product. Don’t be the Charlatan.

The Martyr

The Martyr works their ass off and they create great work. Their problem is that it never sees the light of day. Seth Godin defines art as something that meets an audience and that without the audience art is nothing. The Martyr is the starving artist, the person at the company who keeps their head down and never gets promoted. Don’t be the Martyr.

The Hustler

Hip hop loves hustlers. Gary Vaynerchuk talks about Hustle a lot. Hustle has become one of the buzzwords of this century. The Hustler works hard, creates great work and makes sure you know about it. The Hustler connects their art with the world. The Hustler succeeds. Be the Hustler.


It all comes down to having great work to talk about. By all means, network on social media, build the connections and serve others, but you have to be working. When the time comes get your very best work out there and make sure it gets in front of the right audience.

Be the steak and the sizzle. Create the hype and back it up with substance. Be the Hustler.