(originally posted March 29th, 2008)
Again one of my true commerc-eers, Devin, who has been partially “wintering over” with me so we have had lots of time together staring at computers and conversing about all manner of things across the work table, flung this line at me the other day, “Put some tacky in your wacky!”
Malcolm Galdwell’s book, “The Tipping Point,” which has become a hit standard in the innovative marketing analysis genre, almost to the point of becoming passé, espouses the principle of “stickiness”, that is to say when an idea, product or service succeeds in meeting that elusive yet precise place of catching on…in the marketplace, in solutions to social problems or in the minds of all us as we evolve toward greater consciousness, an epidemic of energy constellates and things take off.
There is tendency, I find, to reduce towards the least common denominator as a principle of accessibility…the more generic something is, the more probable it is that a larger number of people will buy, relate or share. Yes, there are archetypal patterns, a collective substrate that undergirds our humanity so, for instance, a classic movie, such as “Gone With The Wind,” endures because it deals with issues so potently familiar to the human experience: the devastation of war, the pain of triangulation in love, the power of our connection to the earth to redeem us; but it incarnates these themes through the unique personae of eccentric characters.
Evolution tends toward specificity; the more precise we are in our essence, the more we “call” to us the ever more nuanced circumstances which bring us to the next lesson. This truth applies in the realms of commerce as much as in the realms of the psyche. It is exactly our “wackiness” that is our “bestselling” attribute; the more innovative our wackiness, the more opportunity we create to develope that “tacky” market niche.