Remarkable Is…

  • Anything worth remarking upon.
  • Remarkable is better, different, unique, opposed, original – to the nth degree.
  • The further away you get from the standard, from the accepted, from the norm, from the status quo, from the ordinary, the more remarkable you are.
  • You can be remarkably good and you can be remarkably bad.
  • Remarkable doesn’t mean success. Success doesn’t require remarkable. But both often come hand in hand.
  • Remarkable is not easy. Remarkable is not safe.
  • Remarkable gathers attention to itself.
  • Remarkable stands out, stands in front of, and stands apart from.
  • If no one is talking about it, it isn’t remarkable.
  • Remarkable is only remarkable in comparison to that which is not remarkable.
  • A black and white cow is not remarkable. A purple cow is remarkable. A purple cow in a field of purple cows is not remarkable. A black and white cow in a field of purple cows is remarkable.

Are you remarkable? Is your blog remarkable? Can you become remarkable? What do you find remarkable? What does remarkable mean to you?

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  1. Nice food for thought.

    Point #4 reminds me of a Seinfeld episode when Elaine is really happy when a doctor she just met describes her as “breathtaking.” She’s not as pleased when he subsequently refers to their hosts’ very ugly baby as “breathtaking” too.

    Your last point is also mirrored in that Twilight Zone episode with the pretty woman in the pig-faced society. (Can you tell I watch too much TV?)

  2. I’d say you watch too much tv except I knew instantly exactly the episodes you were referring to so I guess I watch a little too much myself. One of my simple pleasures is watching as much of the Twilight Zone marathon as I can on New Year’s and I did catch the pig-faced society episode this last year.

    Glad you liked the post.

  3. I agree with most of those, I suppose. Although is this one really true?:

    If no one is talking about it, it isn’t remarkable.

    What if they aren’t talking about it immediately, but it gains some recognition over time? Would it have been any less remarkable then?

    I’ll admit here metaphor slightly confused me 😮

    A black and white cow is not remarkable. A purple cow is remarkable. A purple cow in a field of purple cows is not remarkable. A black and white cow in a field of purple cows is remarkable.

    I understand that one cow can stand out in a field of dissimilar cows, as the cow itself is different than the others by itself….

    But why would the black and white cow not be remarkable by itself, but the purple cow is? What’s the primary difference between the “cows”? What makes the purple cow better than the black and white one?

  4. James in this context all remarkable really means is something that is remarked upon, something that is worth talking about so if no one is talking about it then it can’t be remarkable. It could become remarkable at a later time if people start talking about it then, but at the moment it isn’t.

    The cow metaphor is from Seth Godin’s book aptly named Purple Cow. He tells a story about his family driving down the highway and seeing cows along the way. You see a cow you go moo. You see another one you go moo again, but after awhile you’ve seen so many cows they really aren’t worth taking the time to moo. They’re not worth remarking on.

    A black and white cow is ordinary. If you saw one would you run home and tell your friends? Probably not. But if you saw a purple cow that would be remarkable. When was the last time you saw a purple cow? If you saw one wouldn’t you want to tell someone.

    Continuing the metaphor one purple cow among dozens of purple cows isn’t remarkable anymore. It’s just one of many. The whole group might be remarkable because it’s a group of purple cows, but no one cow within the group is remarkable anymore. It’s just like all the other cows. it becomes one of many instead of one.

    In the context of hundreds of purple cows grazing in a field the lone black and white cow becomes remarkable because it stands apart from all the purple cows. As strange as a purple cow might be if they were all purple you’d notice the one that wasn’t purple.

    The main idea behind remarkable is that if you can create remarkable ideas people will talk about them and the ideas spread. As the ideas spread so does your mindshare and your brand.

    Giving it a practical example think of Dominoes. If your pizza isn’t there in 30 minutes it’s free. When they started doing that it was completely new and unique and remarkable. People talked about. What did you have to lose. You either got your pizza fast or you didn’t have to pay for it.

    The idea spreads and the next time you want pizza delivered in a hurry who comes to mind. For most people Dominoes comes to mind and Dominoes consequently gains a lot of business. In fact they built their business on that one idea. It certainly wasn’t the quality of their pizza. They built a company on the back of a remarkable idea.

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