So-prisingly Obvious

The best ideas are often the simplest, they make you say: “I wish I’d thought of that!” We often don’t think if it, because ‘simple’ is not the same as easy. There is genius in simplicity. I’ve noted before that it’s about surprising with the obvious.

From around the world, 10 examples in the SO zone, or on rapid approach:

  1. Beyoncé adding mystery to popularity, with her direct-to-iTunes release.
  2. Affinia Hotels enabling New York customers to order fresh grocery delivery direct to room. Stay healthy + save money + have fun.
  3. A large ear-shaped sculpture in a public place that records and relays opinions over City Hall speakers. One way to give every citizen a voice.
  4. Inviting homeless people to read the weather on TV in cold times, raising awareness and money for the homeless.
  5. Making sports shoes out of wool. A former New Zealand soccer team captain has removed the need for socks. No socks, no smell.
  6. Zappos’ Thanksgiving Airport Game, turning a baggage claim into a pop-up Wheel of Fortune-type game. Win what your baggage lands on.
  7. Turkish Airlines letting startups pitch to business class passengers on in-seat TVs. A way to promote its country’s tech industry.
  8. Companies that hire happy people. Happy employers = happy customers = happy shareholders.
  9. Netflix using piracy to pick its programming – looking at what’s popular on Internet piracy sites as part of its content-development strategy.
  10. Canalplay (think French Netflix) creating a coffee brand to attract viewers. Get ‘Insomny’ coffee to watch shows non-stop, with a free benefit to boot.

Recent Posts

Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


Books on


Join us. Sign up for our blog.

Receive our regular updates in your in-box.