It’s in the Small Things
Just change one small letter and the meaning of a word is completely changed. The English alphabet contains twenty-six letters and with that, we have somewhere between a quarter of a million and one million words currently in use. New words are added to the language constantly and unused words are “retired”, yet not one new letter has been introduced to the alphabet. Simple changes can bring redefinition.
One of the most impressive airlines I’ve ever flown is SAS, now known as Scandinavian Airlines. Years ago, (before troubled airlines became epidemic), a new CEO stepped up to turn the then-ailing company around. After a phenomenal turn-around from an airline with one of the worst ratings in the world to one of the best, he was quoted as saying, “I didn’t set out to make any one thing 100% better, but instead to make everything 1% better.”
It’s the small components that can transform design from average to exceptional. In Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind”, he proposes that we’re in a shift from the information age, an age of incredible abundance, to an era when high conceptualization will take on new importance. Information over-load has positioned the marketplace in a way that significance will hold rich rewards.
Design equals function plus significance. It’s the design of your product or service that will determine the level of your profitability. Pink proposes three piercing questions:
1. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
2. Can a computer do it faster?
3. Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of abundance?