Do you remember that initial moment when you discovered something that made your jaw drop? The first time I flew at age nine, my jaw dropped. My first flight also happened to take place a week after the horrifying crash in Sioux City, Iowa, of a United jet. Let’s just say I was a bit nervous.
I originally had the middle seat, but a very kind lady offered her window seat so I could see everything. Flying into Las Vegas, at night, was incredible. The lights from the Strip were visible from miles away. For a girl used to living out in the country, with her closest neighbor a quarter-of-a-mile away, it didn’t seem real.
As you get older, the jaw-dropping moments become fewer in number, but no less desirable. What I’ve found interesting is the increasing number of people who are certain they can make your jaw drop. Realistically, not everyone can be a Steve Jobs presenting an iPod or iPhone, but that doesn’t keep people from trying. Then, it becomes a question of authenticity.
More companies than I care to think about settle for over-promising instead of delivering a real jaw dropper. Infomercials are a perfect example of this practice. We’re talking about kitchen gadgets, weight-loss supplements, or exercise equipment. These categories are not jaw dropping, but marketers frame them as such. This inaccurate positioning does little to convince the viewer logically of a product’s value. But because we want to have a jaw-dropping experience, we call the 800 number and agree to three easy payments. Invariably, we’re disappointed because it isn’t real.
The disappointment doesn’t keep us from searching for the next one. I think that’s why you see lines snaking around Apple stores for hours on end. We’re willing to keep trying to satisfy the need to be amazed. We enjoy the rush of adrenaline, the initial moment of awe where our brain can only say, “Wow. That’s so cool.” I only wish it lasted a bit longer, because once it’s over, the hunt for the next moment is on again. And I’m afraid a knife that can slice through cans or shoes isn’t going cut it (pun intended).