A relative of Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah robot, which last year managed to outpace the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt on a treadmill, is now able to run outdoors untethered. Named the WildCat, the outdoor runner is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and is being developed for military use.
The human experience is clouded with judgment, riddled with curiosity in a narrow-minded setting, so much so that we accept this funneled result as reality. At this point, science is often in disagreement, and the rest of the population is miles behind them. Unfortunately, scientists can’t even understand the filter of culture thoroughly. Language consistently interrupts our thoughts about what culture is and what societal values are, as opposed to what our values are. So while strict scientists believe an answer is closer and closer to the verge of truth, we are really getting sucked deeper and deeper inside the regulated filter. Although this paints the portrait of life a bleak outcome, recognizing your life as filtered is the first step in freeing you from yourself. One explanation as to why we may not make the connection is beauty. We are all addicts. We love beauty. This, I truly believe, is inherently human. Art is becoming a more real, tangible asset as it never has before. We are recognizing its value in business, and we therefore are taking advantage of it. Technology certainly plays an integral part in the uprising of artistic expression in our daily lives, however it is difficult to say that we are not upon the horizon of real truth. It may take the majority of humans years upon years before believing that I am, in fact, only who I am wont to be.
Deep beneath the surface (speaking habitually and somewhat metaphorically) exists a true you, a self that has passions, desires, and needs. Beauty fills every one of these needs. As Abraham Maslow stated in my Psychology 101 class, “What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization” (Disclaimer: Maslow died 37 years before I got to college, but he expressed himself just fine through my then-current professor). Following my previous post, there does seem to be constraints put on us as we grow up, constraints we often are accused of placing there ourselves. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Culture places restraints on us, with the understanding that not everyone can do what they want and fill another’s needs. With that being said, it is then easy to understand that you are, however, the only entity capable of removing said constraints. This, I believe, is a human duty. Our interests do not define us. We define ourselves through our interests. It is in the last subtle notion that we come across the understanding of who we were meant to be. We are only meant to be who we destine ourselves to be, from the very moment of realization up until the moment of actualization.
Now that we have a firm base from which to grow, I want to get back to our understanding, and culture’s understanding, of art and beauty. Seth Godin, master marketer, recently wrote a book called The Icarus Deception: How High will You Fly?, in which he adamantly agrees “We have embraced the industrial propaganda with such enthusiasm that we have changed the very nature of our dreams.” This notion is not only ingraining itself deeper into the minds of Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd enthusiasts, but it is now a notion leaking its way into the business scene. Seth Godin has long preached about the beauty of an object and the beauty we take away from it. We can have a day-long dispute about the nature of beauty, whether or not it exists inherently within an object, but it is much more difficult to argue that we do not have a desire for beauty. As this leaks into the minds of master marketers, as so perfectly describes Godin, we are continually being flooded by beauty and its power. We are head-jerkingly aware of this beauty, turning to such careers as User Experience experts, which, semantically-speaking, is demeaning to the rest of us experiential beings. We turn from one application to the next, leaving an unwavering insanity, constantly in search of a higher beauty, of something which will replace my current lapse in perceived beauty. As a business enthusiast, I find myself drooling at the opportunity to manipulate the human necessity, but as an afflicted human, I eagerly beg you to understand what beauty is and whether or not you are asking for more, or simply perceiving less. Natural beauty, in this sense, is being thoroughly replaced by that of artificial beauty, replacing natural experience with a counterfeit one.
White is the combination of all colors. Black is the absence of all color.
Only in the presence of light can white exist. Black only exists in its absence.
Therefore, the beauty of each is only illuminated by the contrast to the other. Only on the stage of a black set can white gather all colors together to form unequivocal beauty. And only amidst the sum of all color can its complete antithesis shine.Tweet
You’ve heard it all before, or maybe you haven’t. Either way, new business benefits you, and everyone, for that matter. Why is it so difficult for old-school-styled businesses to hang on to what used to be theirs? Simple, business is no longer separated from life. We used to get barraged with product ads with companies claiming to help you in some fashion, or that somehow making money was never their intention, but more or less a byproduct. In the age of information, as it’s so aptly named, we are barraged with millions more products, and advertising has become so much more complex in spite of this. In order for products to get seen and raved about, money no longer commands what it used to, at least not without being coupled with some sense of integrity. As a business, you no longer want to hide your profit margin. For as many years as it was assumed that we businessmen need to dupe the customer into a sale and then hope that they just forget about it without telling a soul, trickery has now become an obsolete method. If you’re a bank, focus on the bottom line. Express that’s what your focus is. However, I can just as easily never give you business if I know that the same company down the street hired 20 more customer service employees, focusing more on retention rather than new business. What old school business never understood was that when something worked, there was a much deeper explanation that was not readily available. Science, especially the studies of the brain including a mix of psychology and neuroscience, has opened our eyes to what we were doing right (and wrong) all along. Focusing on branding may sound dull or classical, but it is the only surefire way to retain business. And here is the key folks: retention is new business. The longer you hold onto a loyal customer, the more friends he/she makes, the more likely it is that conversations about your business will follow at some point. No matter the wait, retention beats new business any day of the week, as far as I am concerned. Build a better you, build a profitable business.
Honesty, transparency, loyalty —> Money.Tweet