The Purple Cow

Big picture before details.

The way a lot of businesses seem to operate is actually quite appalling.

Credit it to the suited up MBA professionals or veteran change-hating management board, but there is usually great focus on style than on substance.

This is pretty eminent in technology businesses. Take smart phones, cars, or music players. The emphasis is on creating an array of nonsensical features, adding more clutter to the design and filling the products with ton loads of accessories.

That’s really confusing for the customer. 

“It’s 4.5 inch screen.”, “It emits 34 tons of C02 emissions per year”, “It has 80GB SATA harddisk”

The number are important, yes. But the meaning is even more important. The details aren’t enough. To make them really count, the customer needs to be shown the big picture too.

Thousands of years ago, when man traveled in his hunting sprees, if he ever spotted a new beast, he wouldn’t count the number of teeth it has, or the circumference of its tail, but would check if it’s dangerous or friendly.

The brain doesn’t crave for details first. It needs the meaning. And then it can process the details. Entrepreneurs, are you listening? 

(Thanks to Carmine Gallo for pointing out such a great example.)