It may not be wrong, it may be inappropriate
I follow Seth Godin on Twitter.
Every day he posts really thought provoking articles.
This is one of my favourites.
I like binary thinking.
I like things simple, even over-simplified.
It’s not always right.
But it’s right most of the time.
It’s a good way to think fast, in broad brushstrokes.
And clean up the details later.
This is a great piece of binary thinking from Seth Godin.
He starts by explaining the difference between two types
Hunters and Farmers.
Until about 50,000 years ago, people had survived by
Farming was invented and the way many people spent their
time was changed forever.
Clearly, farming is a very different activity from
Farmers spend time sweating the details, worrying about
the weather, making smart choices about seeds and breeding and working hard to
avoid a bad crop.
Hunters, on the other hand, have long periods of
distracted noticing interrupted by brief moments of frenzied panic.
It’s not crazy to imagine that some people are better at
one activity than another.”
Seth Godin references the educational specialist Thom
Who feels an inability to understand the Hunter
personality may be why some children have problems at school.
“A kid who has innate hunting skills is easily
distracted, because noticing small movements in the brush is exactly what you’d
need to do if you were hunting.
Scan and scan and pounce.
That same kid is able to drop everything and focus like a
laser–for a while–if it’s urgent.
The farming kid, on the other hand, is particularly good
at tilling the fields of endless homework problems, each a bit like the other.
Just don’t ask him to change gears instantly.”
I think it’s enlightening to look at ourselves and our
environment this way.
Do we see ourselves as a Hunter or a Farmer?
Does our behaviour reinforce our view, or contradict it?
What do we think of the people we work with, or for?
Art Directors, Copywriters, Planners, Account Handlers,
Clients, Media (Buyers and Planners).
Should they be they Hunters or Farmers as a group?
Have we got Farmers doing jobs that Hunters should be
doing (say new business).
Or vice versa?
As seth Godin says, “Farmers prefer productive meetings,
hunters want to simply try stuff and see what happens.
Hunters want a high-stakes mission, farmers want to avoid
One of the paradoxes is that it takes a hunter to get
(something) going and a farmer to patiently make (it) work.”
Of course, certain clients are Hunters and some are
But that’s also true for different ad agencies.
If you can define the context you can identify what’s
wanted and/or needed.
Also there may be a real opportunity for a different kind
of attitudinal briefing for advertising.
Are we trying to sell a Hunter product in Farmer media?
Is our advertising failing because we’re delivering a
Farmer message to a Hunter consumer?
As Seth Godin says, “Hunters are in sync with Google, a hunting
site, farmers like Facebook.”
The main thing to realise is, it isn’t a case of one being
good and the other bad.
But by recognising the difference we can stop seeing
something (or someone) as right or wrong.
We can begin to look at whether the situation is
appropriate or inappropriate.
That’s a much more powerful way to handle anything.
As Seth Godin says, “Bill Gates is a farmer. Steve Jobs
is a hunter.”