That is title of the new book by Seth Godin. Somehow, I'm still trying to figure this out, I was sent an advanced proof of the book.
What can I say, the book is true Seth. I liked it as much as Survival is Not Enough, which is still one my favorites of his.
If I had to sum up the book in a single statement, I'd use the following quote:
Just as nature abhors a vacum, so too does the human mind. Where there is a lack of information, the imagination will rush to fill a void.
~ Carl Jung
People prefer to be able to explain things, they want a logical explanation for everything that occurs. That includes all the details about the goods we purchase. If you don't provide people a story, they'll make one up - and more than likely, it won't be as good as one that you could come up.
One of my favorite stories in the book is the iPod shuffle story.
Everything happens for a reason, doesn't it? Even if you don't consciously agree with that statement, you brain sure does.
The ability to refine our superstitions is one of the brain's greatest talents. Unlike virtually any other living being (or even most computers), humans insist on finding a theory to explain what happens to them.
The New York Time recently ran an article about otherwise intelligent, rational people who were sure that the shuffle feature on their iPod was broken. The shuffle feature is supposed to randomly select songs and play them. These users knew for certain that something was wrong because their iPods appreared to keep playing certain songs over and over. Instead of being random, it appeared to these users that the iPod was favoring some songs over others.
A quick look at the song count on my iPod confirmed that this is exactly what happens - some songs are played ten times as often as others. But that's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way randomness works. Random doesn't mean perfectly even. Far from it.
These supersititious iPod owners, though, had made a decision about what their player liked (and what it didn't like). They gave the machine a personality. Whenever a particular song came up again, they made a mental note of it. "Aha! See, it does love Fatboy Slim. There he is again." Of course, they were just as quick to ignore those instances when a rarely played song came up.
Overall the book is great. True Seth - thought provoking and very entertaining.