You can deliver magic

Think about the difference between “good enough” and “magical.”

It was the difference, five years ago, between the iPod and the Microsoft Zune (or, for now at least, the iPad and everything).

It’s the difference between a Tiffany’s ring in its eggshell-blue box, and the identical ring you can get 10 blocks away in New York City’s diamond district for half the price.

It’s Zappos giving you free, next-day shipping the first time you order.

Or, back in the day, when your FedEx arrived the next morning, every time, no matter what.

“Magical” isn’t a little better than “good enough”, magical crushes the competition.

Of course, making the entire Apple experience magical is a big deal: they need to deliver, to everyone, the whole package: hardware, software, design, the Apple store, Mac Geniuses, Steve Job keynotes, even those snappy new cases on the iPad 2.

The good news is, you probably don’t need to do a fraction of this to deliver magic.  If you’re not Apple, I’m guessing that most of your success depends on a handful of customers (less than 20, I’m guessing…and even if it doesn’t just depend on such a small number, you can start small).  Curiously, delivering a magical experience to 20 people isn’t actually that hard.  Yes, you have to amaze, surprise, care for, and delight these folks, but there are only 20 of them, and I’m sure if you decide to do this you can do it right away – much more quickly and easily than you expected.

What would it take, really, to deliver magic to just the tippity-top of your top customers?  (not much).

So what’s stopping you?


Yesterday night, for the first time, my wife ordered me a pair of shoes on Zappos.  This morning, she called me to say, “This is amazing.  They just arrived!  I don’t know how they do it.”

I know.

It’s magic.

Think about how incredible this is: with all the technology in the world, with all the jaded consumerism, with all the hype, Zappos did something so cool that it was worth picking up the phone and telling someone about.  And they’re delivering shoes.  Shoes!!!

If they can create magic with shoes, anything is possible.  Anything.

With magic, you’ve got traction, momentum, joy, surprise.  Without it, you’re just pushing a boulder up a hill.

So go on, take whatever you’re working on and insert some magic, create an ideavirus that will spread.

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