The founder of Geek Squad once described advertising as a “tax for unremarkable products”. No one wants to launch unremarkable products, so why do the vast majority of new products fall into this camp?
We’ve all come across idea killers, those behaviors and attitudes that sand the edges of ideas as they are brought to life. Idea killers operate like the pins in a voodoo doll. Each jab makes the idea a little weaker.
I’m inspired by organizations that bring ideas to life without those cuts and compromises. In the spirit of voodoo, I visited a remarkable business in Portland last month called Voodoo Doughnut. Everything they sell is remarkable in the truest sense. Their namesake doughnut is a chocolate covered voodoo doll that you jab with a pretzel stake to squirt out raspberry jam. They have doughnuts topped with Captain Crunch and Fruit Loops and even bacon.
None of these ideas would pass a focus group. All would be deemed too polarizing and too risky. Yet, Voodoo Doughnut has a perpetual line out the door. They don’t need to pay the advertising tax.
Is your path to innovation filled more with curses or blessings?