September 24, 2020

It’s your attention

Today, I’m sharing this video from the RSA – from someone who used to work at Google:

For me, the most shocking thing in it is this:

“Steve Jobs did not let his children use the i-Pad.”

We know, marketers better than anyone, what people really want:

  • Agency – to make our own ‘me-shaped’ dent in the universe.
  • Mastery – to learn and master new skills.
  • Autonomy – to be free to choose how I make my dent.
  • Purpose – to do this for something bigger than myself, that has meaning beyond the sale.
  • Community – to do all this with ‘people like us’.
  • Status – to know where I stand in that community.

Consumerism exploits our need for these things, converting our impulses towards autonomy, agency, community and status into the purchase of unsatisfying stuff, or the squander of our attention and energies into fruitless activities.

Our purchasing power is just about the only power truly left us, but it is powerful.   If we can be more picky, more discriminate, more intentional;  reserving our attention – the only truly scarce resource right now – for what really matters, and for people delivering what really matters, we can create a world where everything flourishes.