Scroll down and be on the lookout for more daily tweets to make you wiser every day.
January 23, 2017
"Things can get embedded into our belief system, and nobody wants to challenge them anymore."
January 04, 2017
In 1854, 600+ people died in one week from Cholera. Conventional wisdom maintained that disease was carried through the air. This miasma, they believed, was the cause of the Cholera epidemic in England. John Snow, had a theory that contaminated water was responsible for cholera, and that it was spread by drinking water, not the air. Arguably an independent thinker among the established guardians of the great masses, Snow went door to door to find out the water source of each family and logged the data on a map, identifying one particular water pump as the culprit of contamination. #thinkdifferent
"There will always be some independent thinkers found among the established guardians of the great masses."
January 03, 2017
In 1784, Emmanuel Kant recognized that the "great masses" were essentially committed to the status quo. However, he encouraged people to think and "employ their own reason" as a source of freedom and enlightenment. In other words, he wanted people to think for themselves and not exist as blind followers, and he held out the hope that these independent thinkers would always exist. Still true today, as we look to the likes of Elon Musk and Richard Branson to change the world for the better.
"Nothing is required but freedom, namely...to make use of one’s reason."
"What yoke could be imposed on men who have no need of anything?"
January 02, 2017
In 1750, Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that learning and knowledge create new forms of dependence by introducing "luxury." This luxury creates an inauthenticity as people work to uphold appearances and demand distinction through their learning. He said, "the ancient political thinkers forever spoke of morals and virtue; ours speak only of commerce and money." Though written in 1750, this holds true today, so the question Rousseau poses still applies.
What an interesting lens through which to view society's quest for distinction and the power that is inextricably linked to it.
Insights are our business, and we learn about consumer behavior every day. Sometimes that learning is industry specific and is only relevant in a particular category. These insights are often conditional.
Other times, insights on consumer behavior are universally applicable as they have more to do with our nature than our relationship to a specific industry or shopping occasion. These are the insights that really matter because they are often habitual and innate. Understanding this behavior provides our greatest opportunity.
Classic literature provides a wealth of knowledge in understanding the human condition. We aim to share an insight a day via Twitter (@wiserinsights), and the sources will live here.
Of the many inputs to decoding consumer behavior that we employ, classic literature and understanding the way things have been done throughout history have remained invisible. Until now.