“You don't know what people are looking for. What you know is what you feel like might be missing.” – Pharrell Williams, Born Apr. 5, 1973.
Here is one that people always struggle with. What do I write about? Here's what. What's missing from the content your market is reading? Write about that.
Are we talking about sales copy instead? How do you start writing about this product? Here's where. What's missing from all the other products that do the same thing? Write about that.
Take a look at creating fresh products. You can never ever know what people are looking for… Because THEY don't know either. You're not a mind reader anyway. No one is.
But if you want to create something people are excited to see, to discover, to buy and have and own and love… Almost like you are reading their subconscious to deliver stuff they always wanted but didn't even know it…
…Then you need to figure out the boring, lame, regular pattern… and then BREAK that shit. Maybe it's a pattern of sameness people aren't quite aware of yet, and you point it out by hitting them with what is MISSING.
What THEY'VE been missing out on. Suddenly what they've been settling for is no longer good enough. Even though they never even knew they were settling and were perfectly content mere moments ago…
And while we are convincing them to come on over to our way of thinking, let's lob a hearty “fuck you” to those evil selfish pricks who have been denying OUR PEOPLE what WE deserve!
Sounds good right? But also sounds hard, right? Creativity is a fickle bitch, it's true. But you can do this on demand.
Here is the trick…
Are you reading closely?
People can't miss what they don't already know.
So we aren't talking about invention. We are talking about looking to what came before – what has been passed over – for newer, shinier things. You're looking for treasure that was forgotten, but is still every bit as valuable as it was before people got bored with it.
And when you remind people of that thing they were missing, they have that instant mental tickle and jiggle of nostalgia like “oh shit THIS IS MY JAM!”
And then, if you hit the audience just right, your pattern-breaker proves so popular, it becomes the new pattern. Imitators make it so what was missing is now what is boring. The new hotness is now old and busted.
So once more, you look at what there is, and you figure out what is missing. What got left behind and forgotten two generations back that deserves to be seen by fresh eyes?
Bring it out. Get credit for it. Even if you tell people you're just regurgitating nearly dead styles and thoughts – they still call you genius, innovator, rebel.
A true original, both cutting edge and old school. Hip, yet wise. Guru-like, even.