Oh! Simplicity

2007 January 26

I spent yesterday with a talented group of folks at the only women-owned and operated television network in the world, Oxygen Media. The topic was simplicity in the context of digital media and as usual when I have the opportunity to speak on the topic, compared to what I give to a community I get back a great deal more by carefully listening.

The 6th law of law6 struck me as particularly relevant during our conversations. There were a few variants to the 6th law that never made it to the final cut, but even in its final form I felt it didn't encapsulate what I wished to express. Because I'm unafraid of law9 it of course stands in its current form. But at Oxygen, when I listened to their designers' approach of designing media for women as necessarily "off-target instead of 100% on-target" I was thrilled to learn more. Their point was something to the effect that if you design something that is exactly tailored and targeted to a specific segment, then the segment will run away from it as what they're looking for is something slightly off-target. This doesn't seem intuitively obvious, but makes a great deal of sense. There's a certain minority that can be hit with pinpoint accuracy, but in general we humans love to be slightly individualistic. Subtle law5 are always important to us.

So in summary, I learned that when your on, you're off; and when you're off, you might be on. Which brings me to one of the original constructions of the 6th Law, "The situation around you, often matters more than what stands directly in front of you." Yes it's a bit off, but maybe it's a bit more on. I hope you take off with something fun for the weekend.