Ahh…the content space – there’s so much of it everywhere, online and offline. How do you cut through the clutter and stand out to your target audience?

To borrow from the Steve Jobs playbook, you need to think different. Of course, that leads to another dilemma: how do you think different?

The beginnings of your answer can be found by thinking about a train trip.


Think about this question: how do you make a relatively comfortable, if slightly long, train ride better? I’m guessing that Rory Sutherland sees things differently than you do. You and I would do well to learn a few lessons from him.

In talking about the Paris To London Train, he observes that a team of engineers, asked how to improve the trip, suggested spending £6 billion on building new tracks that would eliminate 40 minutes from a three and a half hour trip.

Rory’s solution?

“What you should in fact do is employ all of the world’s top male and female supermodels, pay them to walk the length of the train, handing out free Chateau Petrus for the entire duration of the journey. Now, you’ll still have about three billion pounds left in change, and people will ask for the trains to be slowed down.”

You can see his entire TED Talk at the bottom of this post. I don’t go a month without watching it again – it’s that good. Do yourself a favor and give it a view. It’s hilarious, and it’s loaded with stories of creative problem solving from throughout history, including nutritional problems in 18th century Prussia, 19th-century war financing, an early 20th-century anti-prostitution campaign, and modern-day unsafe driving. If you can deal with learning that Fredrick The Great was as great a creative as you are, the video will really open your mind.

If you’re in advertising in any way, you’ll want to catch the segment that starts at 11:56; it’s the funniest part of the whole video, and it shows you a brilliant solution to an advertising problem.

We’re all creatives!

All of us. Whether we’re teachers or doctors, CBD makers or writers, lawyers or advertising sellers, we must all be creative in order to succeed. Yet, we frequently fail to act like it.

So…how often do you ignore your true creative side and look for the same old solutions? How often do you look for answers in the same old places?

You have amazing opportunities before you. You can reach your fans, your supporters, your potential customers more easily and cheaply than ever before with one key caveat:

You’ve got to do it well.

Sutherland ends his performance – and like any public speech, his is a performance – with a G.K. Chesterton quote that says so much about the state of the radio business: “We are perishing for want of wonder, not want of wonders.”

What are you doing to create a sense of wonder?