Sent by Jonathan Stark on March 16th, 2018
Thanks so much to everyone who sent in recommendations in reply to yesterday’s email!
Wow what a varied list. Here are some of the suggestions y’all contributed:
- A ski resort in West Virginia
- An Anatolian Shepherd
- O’Keeffe’s Working Hands cream
- A pair of cherry red Doc Martin boots
- Boating areas in Quiberon Bay, Brittany
- A Devon Rex
- Punk IPA from Brewdog
- Cucumber deodorant
- A paper-based “CRM”
- A metallic green sweat bee
- Salsa dancing lessons
- Khawdry dates
- Taiwanese High Mountain oolong tea
- Music ranging from classical piano to chillstep
- Tourist destinations from Argentina to Switzerland
- Hiking trails from Tennessee to Slovakia
- A whole bunch of podcasts, apps, restaurants, gadgets, luggage, fountain pens, kitchen tools, musical instruments, computer keyboards, programming languages, and more
Coincidentally, I own three of the recommended items (and yes, they’re all great):
- Vitamix blender
- Thermapen kitchen thermometer
- Briggs & Riley carry-on suitcase
Okay, so this was a fun exercise (for me, at least!) but what was the point?
My reason for asking was to see if there were any patterns in what sorts of things people would recommend, and how they would do it.
Turns out that there were:
- Almost nobody recommended something cheap, utilitarian, or boring
- Almost everything recommended was either free (e.g., podcasts, hiking trails) or premium (i.e., expensive for its category, like a $400 blender)
- Very few people listed features of the recommended item
- Almost half of the recommendations were the just the name of the thing with no explanation whatsoever.
- About a quarter of the recommendations came with a fairly detailed story about a positive experience or emotional connection.
This last point - the one about stories - was the most fascinating to me.
In particular, two different people recommended Porsche sports cars. One person told a story, the other didn’t.
The difference was startling.
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