Where You From to How You Think…

There are three kinds of people in the world. Those that talk about ideas, those that talk about things and those that talk about other people! When I first heard this, it seem to be something intellectual elitists say to confirm their worldview while they gossip about their colleague’s indiscretions. But over time, the idea that brilliant people talk about ideas, average people talk about things and small people talk about other people are classifications that seems to prove true time and again.

In reality we are all of those things simultaneously, but our inclinations are clear in which perspective we base our actions on predominantly as we go through life. In fact, you can pretty accurately judge people’s aptitude by telling topics of conversation.

A person interested most in "Where you from?" or where they’re from is different from someone interested in "What do you do?" And then there are people who are more about "How do you think" regardless of your occupation. Who do you think rule the world?

My interest in this subject is not based on some elitist self-affirmation; rather it is about understanding people in the context of shifting cultural and demographic climate. When we live in a time where we can no longer be classified by our geographic proximity, our actions and even "eye tracking" technologies can’t uncover our true intent, so as marketers what indicators are we really left with?

I’ve suggested before that we focus on "being" and let the fragmented marketplace come to us on their own terms, but why they should come obviously needs more thought. Part of that "why" is understanding customers we serve, associates that work with us, and shareholders who profit from the activity we are engaged in. It’s about time we all start to ask whether or not we are dealing with people concerned with "Where you from", "What you do" or "How you think". What do you think?

2 Responses to “Where You From to How You Think…”

  1. # Anonymous Bruce DeBoer

    I don't know Ray, this sounds like a stretch to me (or perhaps I don't quite understand what your angle is).

    My girlfriend spontaneously laughed at my TV habits last night. She thought it was funny (in the cutest of ways, naturally) that I spent my days deep in intellectual thought (innovation, strategy, etc.) only to come home for a nightcap in front of Fear Factor or Average Joe.

    Depending on who I'm speaking to I'm most interested in what you do, How you think, and what you think. I probably matters what our relationship is; what we mean to each other.

    It seems to me that motivation changes people from "what do you think" types to "How do you think" types.  

  2. # Blogger Ray Podder

    Yes Bruce, It does depend and as I've said we are all three of these types simultaneously. What I was referring to here was more about where one is primarily focused rather than whether or not someone who reads Kierkegaard still watches Celebrity Oops (guilty). The point is about where your focus is and where you come back home to after your Jerry Springer distraction...  

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