Wrote this for a Design & Marketing forum post on invention idea site, Quirky.com:
Those of you in marketing know that storytelling has gained prominence in recent years as a leading form of advertising. When I say “adveritising” this is somewhat counter-intuitive as the best stories are genunely told messages that don’t ostensibly try to sell anything. Yet, somewhere at the bottom or in the author bio there is a link to something that requires money … eventually, the prevelant thought today goes, if you tell a genuine message, people’s interest will perk and eventually sales will result.
When I wrote the story behind my invention “The Apple Lamp,” to be honest, I connected more with the story than I did the invention. Not because I don’t think the invention is good and sound, but because I found writing about Setve Job’s last words — “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.” — more meaningful than the product idea that resulted from these words. It appears that I am not alone. Since posting The Apple Lamp write-up on my blog earlier today, it is fast becoming the most read article ever on my three-year-old blog.
On the one side is the message and the meaning behind Job’s last words. Then on the other, the design concepts and elements that were implemented to symbolically represent a glimmer of the significance of this moment.
When Job’s passed away, I was working full-time at Modway Furniture, a wholesaler of modern and contemporary furnishings. While it was not unusual to send shipments to TV and movie studios, and other well-known companies and personalities, shortly after Job’s passed away I noticed several orders coming from Cupertino … including one well-known Apple employee. At the time I couldn’t help but think that they were searching for comfort, for some solace from their loss (which was also the world’s loss). And as Job’s lived his life inspired by design concepts, then this was their resolution as well … to surround themselves with some of the classics of modern design.
But behind every design is a story, a concept behind that design. This was my intention while writing the description for The Apple Lamp, and my message to you. In the words of Simon Sinek, start with why. Why are you making this product to begin with?
Tell your story. At the very least, people will read and story behind the invention … and then, God willing, the development of the invention itself will come in due time as well.
The Apple Lamp can be viewed here on my blog (the Quirky version only has another 2 plus days of public view left):