Monday, July 22, 2013

Don't stay in the middle...

That's the advice so many people offer. So many authors also write on similar lines.

Think about it, all traders and agencies are right there in the middle.

I have a more fundamental problem. What exactly is 'middle'? And 'middle' of what?

Actually businesses lie between us and things (or rather the 'inconvenience of doing a things ourselves'). Now, of course one can easily argue 'middle' = 'lie between'.

If that last arguments holds, then finding middle is simple and lucrative, no?

Statistically we have the measures of mean, median and mode. Let me give finding 'middle' another try.

Say, in the realm of writing/reading, there are books, short stories, blogs and tweets. Someone who forgets 'short stories' now has a triad - books, blogs and tweets - to figure out where's the middle. Someone can say 'blogs' is in the middle. Perhaps by measuring the length (and therefore the time taken to read) of all the three forms. Though one might have to think a bit more about it. Length as what? Mean, median, mode. Try using that measure. Inferences might surprise.

Suppose a certain chocolate costs Rs.10. There's another that costs Rs.250. Are we saying, there shouldn't be a chocolate worth Rs.100? FMCG marketers will thrash me! 

That advice about 'middle' is difficult to fathom.

Another meaning of 'middle' is 'being unable to decide'. A state of confusion that is.

Tablets? Some say it's in the middle of laptop and smartphone. So the market acceptance isn't as high yet. Ridiculous!

Suppose, after a while we find tablets outnumbering PCs (has it already) and smartphones both, what will we say? That it is no longer in the middle. Or that it gained acceptance because it is a good combination of the two? Or some other reason?

Middle is elusive. On a spectrum with two extremes at the end, it might be easy to find the middle. It will, in many cases, simply turn out to be a paradox. What's the middle of best and worst? BestWorst?

There's no conclusion of this post. There's no confusion either though.

But then what to do about 'middle'? How does the pursuit happen?

No, let me not leave you in the middle. Let me start by saying, 'middle' requires a great name. Perhaps, an unmiddling one. A great package. And some more great words on that package.