Fitting in is a bad strategy

When Apple released the MacBook in 2006, there was nothing like it. The hardware was essentially the same as any other laptop, but no other company was making them white, nor so elegantly:


The MacBook stood out from every other laptop, so sales exploded.

Dr. Bonner’s line of soap products takes exactly the opposite approach to designing their bottle labels. Instead of being simple, Dr. Bonner’s labels are complex. Instead of elegance, they seem completely random:


But the labels stand out on a shelf of soap bottles, so Dr. Bonner’s products sell in a hurry.

I got seven e-mails from students in the last two weeks asking for a job in the fitness center. They all sounded the same (“Do you have a job for me?”). I’m sure there were many fine candidates, but nobody tried to stand out.

It used to be that if you worked hard and did what you were told, you’d get a good job. For better or worse, it’s not like that right now.

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