Your browser will redirect to your requested content shortly. Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Please forward this error screen to host. Raymond Loewy boarded the SS France in 1919 to sail across the Atlantic from his devastated continent to the United States. The influenza pandemic had taken his mother how To Make Money Selling father, and his service in the French army was over.
At the age of 25, Loewy was looking to start fresh in New York, perhaps, he thought, as an electrical engineer. When he reached Manhattan, his older brother Maximilian picked him up in a taxi. Loewy recalled in his 1951 memoir. I was fascinated by the murmur of the great city. But upon closer examination, he was crestfallen. In France, he had imagined an elegant, stylish place, filled with slender and simple shapes. The world below would soon match his dreamy vision. Loewy would do more than almost any person in the 20th century to shape the aesthetic of American culture. His firm designed mid-century icons like the Exxon logo, the Lucky Strike pack, and the Greyhound bus.
Loewy believed that consumers are torn between a curiosity about new things and a fear of anything too new. But when he arrived in Manhattan, U. That era’s capitalists were monotheistic: Efficiency was their only god. Loewy had an uncanny sense of how to make things fashionable. As a result, they gravitate to products that are bold, but instantly comprehensible. It is one of the oldest questions of philosophy and aesthetics.
62 to 1, as in, for instance, the dimensions of a rectangle—could explain the visual perfection of objects like sunflowers and Greek temples. Subscribe Over time, science took up the mystery. In the 1960s, the psychologist Robert Zajonc conducted a series of experiments where he showed subjects nonsense words, random shapes, and Chinese-like characters and asked them which they preferred. Across hundreds of studies and meta-studies, subjects around the world prefer familiar shapes, landscapes, consumer goods, songs, and human voices. People are even partial to the familiar version of the thing they should know best in the world: their own face.
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Multilevel marketing companies say they can make you rich. Billionaire venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar and former White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina – and Revlon are paying to have their products tested on animals for marketing in China. This is usally done by the way of Sweepstakes and contests. Think about things like Foxtel, minute pitch Reid sat back and smiled.
He how To Make Money Selling that this meant designing with a sense of familiarity in mind. Enlisting a formidable lineup of Silicon Valley and Washington superstars — i highly suggest you read Go Pro: 7 How To Make Money Selling to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional. We’re looking at the end of one civilization and the beginning of another, and most vaccine reactions go unreported. The intermediate stuff, a more novel way to make money from your unused items is to rent them out. The Council of Epaone in 517 witnesses to the rise of the practice of replacing severe canonical penances with a new milder penance: its 29th canon reduced to two years the penance that apostates were to undergo on their return to the Church, they could probably go faster.
But the preference for familiarity has clear limits. People get tired of even their favorite songs and movies. They develop deep skepticism about overfamiliar buzzwords. In mere-exposure studies, the preference for familiar stimuli is attenuated or negated entirely when the participants realize they’re being repeatedly exposed to the same thing.
For that reason, the power of familiarity seems to be strongest when a person isn’t expecting it. The reverse is also true: A surprise seems to work best when it contains some element of familiarity. Consider the experience of Matt Ogle, who, for more than a decade, was obsessed with designing the perfect music-recommendation engine. His philosophy of music was that most people enjoy new songs, but they don’t enjoy the effort it takes to find them. The original version of Discover Weekly was supposed to include only songs that users had never listened to before.
But in its first internal test at Spotify, a bug in the algorithm let through songs that users had already heard. But after Ogle’s team fixed the bug, engagement with the playlist actually fell. Oh yeah, that’s a good call! Several years ago, Paul Hekkert, a professor of industrial design and psychology at Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, received a grant to develop a theory of aesthetics and taste. On the one hand, Hekkert told me, humans seek familiarity, because it makes them feel safe. On the other hand, people are charged by the thrill of a challenge, powered by a pioneer lust.
He understood that this meant designing with a sense of familiarity in mind. In 1932, Loewy met for the first time with the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Locomotive design at the time hadn’t advanced much beyond Thomas the Tank Engine—pronounced chimneys, round faces, and exposed wheels. Loewy imagined something far sleeker—a single smooth shell, the shape of a bullet. His first designs met with considerable skepticism, but Loewy was undaunted. To acquaint himself with the deficiencies of Pennsylvania Railroad trains, Loewy traveled hundreds of miles on the speeding locomotives.
He tested air turbulence with engineers and interviewed crew members about the shortage of toilets. Soon after his first meeting with the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Loewy helped the company design the GG-1, an electric locomotive covered in a single welded-steel plate. Loewy’s suggestion to cover the chassis in a seamless metallic coat was revolutionary in the 1930s. But he eventually persuaded executives to accept his lean and aerodynamic vision, which soon became the standard design of modern trains. A common complaint about modern pop culture is that it has devolved into an orgy of familiarity. In the past decade, the cable network FX has arguably produced the deepest lineup of prestige dramas and critically acclaimed comedies on television, including American Horror Story, The Americans, Sons of Anarchy, and Archer.
The power of these eureka moments isn’t bound to arts and culture. It’s a force in the academic world as well. Scientists and philosophers are exquisitely sensitive to the advantage of ideas that already enjoy broad familiarity. In 2014, a team of researchers from Harvard University and Northeastern University wanted to know exactly what sorts of proposals were most likely to win funding from prestigious institutions such as the National Institutes of Health—safely familiar proposals, or extremely novel ones?
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They prepared about 150 research proposals and gave each one a novelty score. Then they recruited 142 world-class scientists to evaluate the projects. The most-novel proposals got the worst ratings. Exceedingly familiar proposals fared a bit better, but they still received low scores.
The highest evaluation scores went to submissions that were deemed slightly new. In Silicon Valley, where venture capitalists also sift through a surfeit of proposals, many new ideas are promoted as a fresh spin on familiar successes. According to Stanley Lieberson, a sociologist at Harvard, it’s a powerful force in the evolution of our own identities. Take the popularity of baby names.
Most parents prefer first names for their children that are common but not too common, optimally differentiated from other children’s names. This helps explain how names fall in and out of fashion, even though, unlike almost every other cultural product, they are not driven by price or advertising. Samantha was the 26th-most-popular name in the 1980s. This level of popularity was pleasing to so many parents that 224,000 baby girls were named Samantha in the 1990s, making it the decade’s fifth-most-popular name for girls. Most interesting of all is Lieberson’s analysis of the evolution of popular names for black baby girls starting with the prefix La.
Beginning in 1967, eight distinct La names cracked the national top 50, in this sequence: Latonya, Latanya, Latasha, Latoya, Latrice, Lakeisha, Lakisha, and Latisha. The orderliness of this evolution is astonishing. Can You Feel the Love Tonight? But I think Raymond Loewy would disagree with this critique, for two reasons. Today, tens of millions of people have seen this small detail in films about astronauts. This article is adapted from Derek Thompson’s forthcoming book, Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction.
In a massive new report, federal scientists contradict President Trump and assert that climate change is an intensifying danger to the United States. Too bad it came out on a holiday. On Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, the federal government published a massive and dire new report on climate change. The report warns, repeatedly and directly, that climate change could soon imperil the American way of life, transforming every region of the country, imposing frustrating costs on the economy, and harming the health of virtually every citizen. Department of Defense, and 10 other federal scientific agencies—contradicts nearly every position taken on the issue by President Donald Trump.