Have you ever played Pac-Man?
Super Mario Bros?
I’m sure you have some sort of game on your smart phone where the objective is to achieve the highest possible score.
In some of these games it is the only objective.
Have you played the helicopter game?
All you do is fly for as long as you possibly can.
The game is programmed to continue indefinitely as long as you don’t crash.
When we play these games, we tend to beat our high score a little bit more each time.
Just a little bit.
Is it because we are getting better?
Is it because we are learning from our past mistakes?
But I think there’s more.
I have found that it is human nature to subconciously give up once we have reached a predetermined threshold, or “high score.”
We find it is okay to achieve this same score.
Even coming up short, as long as it is within an unspoken proximity, is acceptable.
Beating the high score by the smallest margin is, in our primitive ape brain, a fantastic achievement worthy of the highest honors.
Killing the High Score
When you are developing a new brand, are you trying to eek your way past the “high score?”
Are you satisfied creating something that falls short, but within the acceptable range?
Or do you seek to kill the high score?
Slaughter the status quo?
Google didn’t create a search engine that was on par with existing algorithms, they established an empire.
When you search for something on the interwebs, you don’t “Yahoo! it”, you don’t “Ask Jeeves” and you definitely don’t “Bing it.”
No matter which search engine we are using, we “Google it.”
We don’t “MySpace our buddies,” we “Facebook them.”
You want to be the next Sergei?
Or the next Zuck-meister?
Don’t do what they have already done.
Don’t crash the helicopter in the exact same spot each time.
Destroy the high score.
Drop a frickin’ nuke on it.