Thursday, July 27, 2023



Stop it.

It's disgusting.

And it's obvious you're being different only for effect. Your innovation doesn't improve anything. It's dumb and it's ugly. It's craven. And it has no material market value. 

It's attention-getting the same way walking around with your fly open is attention-getting. 

Actually, about 99.79-percent of the innovations I see are what I call "Stuntovations." A term approved by my friend, Darlene Cipriani, a gifted marketing and hard-working new business person.

Years ago, the research company Gartner came up with "The Gartner Hype Cycle." Many new products or technological innovations follow this course.

They don't live up to the initial fanfare. But they do something, eventually, to improve lives or aid productivity. 

Of course, any innovation, or new hire, for that matter, often brings forth "the law of unintended consequences." Meaning that not everything new is good. And not everything good is new. A new boss or CEO or corporate ownership can seem beneficent for a while. Until the first 11,000 jobs are cut. Then 11,000 more. Then receivership. You get the idea.

Tom Gauld, the great illustrator and author came out with this the other day. Similar to Gartner's Hype Cycle and a damn site funnier.

But today, innovations or stuntovations like the Skittles above or omen sulk's rebranded site, x, aren't meant to foment lasting change.

They're meant to lower the zipper of corporate blue jeans and draw eyeballs, not value, to a particular brand.

Their hype cycle is more cynical than Gartner's or Gauld's. It looks like this. And does way more harm than good.

I've spent a lot of my career working on technology brands where "innovations" come as often as birdshit at the beach. Along the way, I've developed a test to determine is something is a real innovation or if some company just needs to make some noise.

I call it, simply, the EZ-Pass test. 

If the product or service doesn't improve your life as much as EZ-Pass does, then it's what Latin scholars call a "Phonus Balonus." It's a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

That's why you employ people like me.

Let me take these innovations and EZ-Pass them. Make them understood, sexy and therefore valuable.

Instead, brands hype their own hype.

Worse, they believe it.

They think people care.


Even bored people don't care.

Stop drinking the you-flavored Kool-Aid.

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