dot: Rory Sutherland by Mike Dariano

A super short book on Creativity!

This is a short 20 odd pages book on the thinking process of Rory Sutherland. The author does a great job in gathering notes about Rory Sutherland from all his books, interviews. A must have!

Here are my notes:

You can’t make Coca-Cola better than Coca-Cola! You have to be illogical

Coca-Cola. A 100 plus year old company that’s weathered World Wars, Cola Wars to be one of the best brands in the world.
The logical answer is this. Coke’s cheap so you’d need to be cheaper. It also tastes good, so your cola would need to taste better. There’s also distribution, diet flavors and other decisions. Unfortunately for you, none of these things will work says Sutherland.
What if I were to say, the taste of the drink is something that nobody likes very much. It costs relatively lot for users to purchase it. It comes in a tiny can.
That’s what Red Bull did and truly went on to become successful!

How do you improve a two and half hour train ride?
Conventional logic would try to build faster trains, replace tracks with better ones. Fight Physics, and reduce the journey time from to two and half hours to two hours! This might be considered a success in regular books!
What’s the other way? Why not make the experience on riding the train better. Why not make passengers feel they have had the most amazing and safe two and hours of their lives? What could you do to make that happen?

Have a wider net when thinking of tradeoffs or Opportunity costs!
What’s your competition? Its ‘Sleep’, said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings! Think wide! Challenge your assumptions. Your true competition may not be what you really think is!

Satisficer versus Maximizer

We pay a premium ‘not only for better, but for less likely to be terrible!
I will pay a premium as a form of insurance for the reduced likelihood that this product is appalling. This is known as Satisficing. Settling for (perhaps the second) best option for the desire to be NOT wrong. Its about ‘avoiding’ failures.

The Maximizer on the other hand seek to find the very best of everything. Their consumption choices define themselves apart from others. Example, they listen to obscure Indie music, wear niche brands, go to holidays at non popular places.

….Guess what? Great brands are built around Satisficers which make up most of the people!
“The great thing about Coke is that the president of the US drinks the same Coke as the layman!” — Andy Warhol

We use clues for decision making. They can be internal — I recognize that. They can be external — lets follow the crowd. They can be aspiring — I’ll maximize. They can be avoiding — I’ll satisfice. Sutherlands goal is to get people to think in these terms.

This short book is packed with more wow moments! I absolutely loved it!

I love the profession of Product Management that helps me build meaningful relationships with teams and customers. I just can’t get enough of reading!