Give me the same thing… but different
Welcome to Sharkuesday* where I analyze a pitch on Shark Tank in which the entrepreneur got tripped up because of their lies. They might be lies the entrepreneur told the sharks (hello inflated evaluations). Or they might be lies that swam around in the entrepreneur’s head. I smell blood in the water…
* Sharkuesday, pronounced like you’re about to say Charcuterie, but before you get to “terie” you transition into the DAY. Or for my visual learners: shar-KOOZ-day.
Behold, the creature of habit. A marvelous being who somehow eats the same breakfast every morning. Who has left an imprint on their spot on the couch while other couch cushions remain untouched. Who contemplates buying an orange backpack because they’re hip and adventurous but somehow ends up adding the black backpack to their cart.
The creature of habit. Otherwise known as: the human.
Humans welcome. Robots welcome, too.
Some of us are devout followers of the creature of habit faith. And some of us *claim* to be total rebels. But at the end of the day, even the rebels like to lay their head on a pillow they know.
Just like the rebel known as Misfit Foods.*
*Not to be confused with Misfits Market. Since premiering on Shark Tank, Misfit Foods has changed their name to Phil’s Finest, probably to reduce that exact confusion.
Phil Wong started Phil’s Finest in order to create a sausage option for flexitarians: those who want to go vegetarian but aren’t ready to take the plunge. Phil pitched half-meat, half-veggie sausages on Shark Tank in a variety of bold flavors.
But the bold flavors ended up not being a selling point, but a point of contention.
Let’s venture back to the creature of habit idea. Why is it that without fail, black bags sell best? You can’t see the stains, sure. You automatically look put together, okay. But more importantly - they go with everything.
Depending on where we fall on the creature of habit scale, we might love buying a neon orange belt that only comes out of the closet a few times a year. But when it comes to the sacrosanct backpack, the all-too-important work bag, the carry-your-life-and-your-toddler-in-it shoulder tote, that puppy better be matching every outfit in the closet.
The same can be said with food. Sure, if you’re in line at a cool new food truck, why not try the citrus and kale, half-chicken, half-veggie sausage on brioche? But for most of us when we shop, it’s about the tried and true.
That’s why Daniel Lubetsky (founder of KIND) and Mark Cuban wanted to make Phil an offer, but weren’t as impressed with his bold sausages. They wanted him to create a work horse. A black backpack. A tried and true, smack it on the grill and be done, sausage.
I wonder if the same can be said for us. You are no sausage m’dear. But I do think we spend a lot of time differentiating, when in reality we might be better served listening to what’s tried and true. Whether that relates to you personally, or the products you create, or the way you talk about yourself. For some of us, we might be fighting to be different, furiously paddling against the tide of what’s been done before. But what would happen if we were to let go of the oars and let the current carry us?
I know we have some screenwriters amongst us (wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care) and I know they’ll recognize the title of this post as the old adage that’s been tossed around writers’ groups for eons. Give me the same thing… but different.
When it comes to our interest in trying something new, it’s largely limited by what we already know. So when something is the same (it’s like Clueless) but different (except she goes to Harvard Law) we like it (Legally Blonde).
I’ll speak for myself: I like it. No, I love it. Because whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed.