Persistence of Vision

I was walking to dinner with a client in Chicago and saw this choice piece of graffiti. I immediately imagined using the image for an end slide in a presentation – “Problem Solved.” Very nice.

It wasn’t until after I had posted the shot on Facebook and seen it uploaded that I realized what it actually said. Which means that I saw the graffiti, composed the shot, took several alternate shots, and processed it in Photoshop, all the while seeing what my mind had interpolated rather than what was actually written there.

We’ve had numerous experiences of clients joining us in the field and saying – after we’ve interviewed someone who was either using or enthusiastic about their products – “She’s not our customer,” because the person didn’t fit their organization’s idea of who their customers are. We’ve also heard, “We already fixed that problem,” even after seeing clearly that the solution was unknown to the end user and the problem was still a problem.

It can be very hard to see something as it is if you come to it with a strongly ingrained idea of what you think it is.

But there is a reality – customers, environments, markets – whether you are seeing it or not. If you’re developing and selling products and services, you’re far better off working from an understanding of what’s actually there, rather than what you think is there.


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