Tuned Out . . . and Just Guessing
Eliminate the struggle to make connections with your marketplace
In the movie Big, a young boy named Josh makes a wish at a fairground machine. Josh wants to be “big,” and when he wakes up the following morning his wish has been granted. Josh now dwells in a grown-up body (played brilliantly by Tom Hanks), but he is still the same twelve-year-old kid inside. In his new body, Josh must learn how to cope with the unfamiliar world of grownup relationships, including with his coworkers at a toy company. Josh is great at his new job because, as a real twelve-year-old inside, he is absolutely tuned in to what children want to play with.
Josh’s encounters with the tuned out grown-ups are revealing. They are exactly the sorts of discussions we know from experience happen inside most companies:
PAUL: (one of Josh’s coworkers): These tests were conducted over a six-month period using a double-blind format of eight overlapping demographic groups. Every region of the country was sampled. The focus testing showed a solid base in the nine- to eleven-year-old bracket, with a possible carryover into the twelve-year-olds. When you consider that Nobots and Transformers pull over 37 percent market share, and that we are targeting the same area, I think that we should see one-quarter of that and that is one-fifth of the total revenue from all of last year. Any questions? Yes? Yes?
JOSH: I don’t get it.
PAUL: What exactly don’t you get?
JOSH: It turns ...

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