The power of surprise

Ask — Will it surprise my audience? — If the answer is yes, then go ahead! It’s all about “Surprise Quotient” (SQ)

We all know how Dick Fosbury at Mexico 1968 games surprised the spectators by changing the paradigm of high jump and coined the new term — “Fosbury Flop”.

The element of surprise is what wows the audience, or makes an idea look innovative or disruptive (the two overly used words in the past few years).

Steve Job’s famous “One last thing …” is a perfect example of making the audience long for that surprise element. We all knew that he has a special secret for us. Secrecy and Apple go along very well, and I think it’s the secrecy — the surprise element which makes Apple fans die for the products.

Surprise has played a big role in meddling with human emotions. It also plays an important role in marketing too.

Beyonce surprised her fans by announcing about her new album on Instagram — it’s this non traditional way of launching an album — which got additional media and PR attention. And made her look even more cool!

As far as startups are concerned, they can use all the buzzwords like disruptive, innovation, hustler but it won’t make them successful until their product (or services) surprise their audience. The audience should fall “head over heels” for this new business. Be it disruption of Microsoft, Apple, Uber, Square (or the current favorite Bitcoin) — they attracted the users because they made us say — “Wow, I didn’t know this was possible in my lifetime!”

So, when you show your product to the users, see if their eyes glow. If they get excited! Try to gauge their “Surprise Quotient” (SQ).

(originally published on Medium)