I stumbled across this TED Talk featuring Rory Sutherland, ad man from Ogilvy. Above all, Rory is a gifted public speaker. The guy is just awesome to listen to! I especially appreciate his use of humor – I like to employ funnies whenever I can, and he’s got great material and even greater delivery.
If you’re an entrepreneur with a product to market, listen to what he says about the Eurostar – did anyone think to use supermodels instead of faster trains to improve the journey from London to Paris? Aside from whether or not you agree with this wild notion, the takeaway is to dive deep inside your product and find imaginative ways to show people that it’s worth buying.
Personally, I took an even more important message from his talk – your life, your problems, your challenges …. they are what you perceive them to be, and often nothing more. If you can change people’s perceptions, you can literally make their problems go away! If you think your flat tire is a bummer, at least you’re not in the crossfire of a civil war. If you think you’re hungry, at least you ate a few hours ago (and not a few days ago). If you think your kids are insufferable brats, at least your kids are still alive. Everything is relative in this world – your entrepreneurial challenges are tough for you, but they’re not nearly as tough as trying to start a business in Kabul or Baghdad. If we can change perceptions, we can change the world.
Best line from the video: “Saving money is just consumerism needlessly postponed.”