The Houdini Technique

From Seth Godin:

Make easy things look difficult.

Make difficult things look easy.

Flying a plane from one city to another, on time, is incredibly difficult. There’s a million things that can go wrong. And yet, for years, the airlines worked hard to make it appear easy. They wanted to appear competent and to make us feel safe.

The other day, as I waited for a flight, I heard the dreaded announcement. The flight was delayed, there was a mechanical problem. Angst filled the gate area.

Five minutes later, they announced that the problem was fixed, and we could board… we ended up leaving ten minutes early. Joy throughout the land!

Where did the joy come from? It came from the rapid shift in expectations. For a moment, the airline made it look hard. then they did the trick and we were saved.

Houdini never said, “check out these trick handcuffs and watch how easy it is for me to take them off.”

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