In this age of information overload, everyone is desperate to push through the crowd to find whatever attention space is left on humanity's virtual Bondi, lay down their digital beach towel and bask in the sun. I need a good strategy.
It must be the Antarctic chill of winter that’s causing me to think of beach metaphors, or maybe it’s the increasingly icy despondency I’m feeling as I realise that I am a member of a species who now has to compete with billions of others for any recognition and validation, while my biology is programmed to be satisfied with finding a mate, a spot on the beach and perhaps a little respect from the head of the village.
Now, maybe there is very little separating my fingertips from world domination, except perhaps my own incapacity to manipulate the world to my ways. Surely the entire planet wants to read my blog, laugh at my YouTube videos, buy my stuff and be swayed by my politics? If only they weren’t all thinking the same thing about themselves!
What makes it so infuriating is how easy it seems for some people to crack it. That “Evolution of Dance” guy, Mr “Leave Britney Alone” or even such luminaries as Twitter’s Biz Stone or the YouTube creators. Film yourself doing a stupid dance or build a stupid Website that mimics SMS and the world is your oyster.
I’m starting to work out the secret. It’s the same secret AC/DC stumbled upon back in the 1970s when the guys first started out. They’ve continued doing pretty much the same thing for over 35 years. Keep it simple, and play it loud! Simplify, then amplify.
Regardless of my field of endeavour, I must refine and perfect it, optimise and distil it to its purest form, to give it the best chance of catching on. MacDonalds did it with its franchise system, Apple did it with the iPod, Thomas Cruise Mapother IV and Eric Banadinovi? did it with their stage names – in fact, the more I think about it, anything that has struck a chord with the masses and found its day in the sun has this fundamental quality: a perfect form, able to be repeated, replicated and broadcast.
Even the most complex idea can succeed when its essence is simple and its processes refined. Man on the moon. Google. Sat-Nav. Word™.
Less mess, more elegance, less instructions, more usability, less clicks, more downloads. Simplify. Amplify.
If I am to have half a chance at getting anything to go viral, catch on, hit the charts and make the news, I’ve got to get this right – and so do you.
De-clutter the office and home, avoid anything we know is a waste of time or dead end, then take what we have of value and perfect it. Make every email, flyer, blog post, press release and domain name more succinct, readable, usable and catchy. Hire designers to improve aesthetics and other professionals to re-engineer every aspect of what we do, if we can’t do it ourselves.
Learn from nature, the ultimate engineer of efficiency and economy facilitating abundance. Extreme complexity exists; our grand plans no doubt contain labyrinthine sophistication, but the underlying formulas by which they are created must be forehead-slappingly pure.
Imagine. I have a dream. Just do it. Think different. Intel inside. Six Hats. Linux. E=mc². Om.
The universe expanded from a single point. What’s my point? If I find it, I’ll go off. With a bang.