When I say inefficient and obvious, I'm referring to how the scripts were likely written. If you want to watch this years commercials, look here. Let me know what you think.

I spent Sunday nerding out on my new book: Quirky Qwerty. The story of the keyboard @ your fingertips.

It's a quick read, but I've just started and want to share two neat historic facts, and how you might learn from history to improve your business or organization.

First, author Torbjorn Lundmark confirms the rumour that the keyboard in front of you is not the most efficient layout and you could type more words per minute if it was rearranged. We do need to give inventor Christopher Latham Sholes some credit though. While he was working on a prototype of his typewriter, he started with a keyboard that followed the alphabet. But he discovered that common word combinations found in the alphabet like DEF, HI, NOP, STU would jam the arms of the typewriter. So he collaborated with educator Amos Densmore to identify which combinations happened the most frequently, and he moved them away from one another. Voila! The QWERTY keyboard. Why we haven't adopted a better one since 1878 is hard to explain. Are we really a bunch of old dogs?

The second fun-fact is just a nice little tidbit about etymology. Next time you think about using upper- or lowercase letters, picture yourself in a print shop circa 1900. Your laying hundreds of metal letters in rows for printing, and you need a capital letter. Which drawer do you reach for? Well, the upper case of course.

What does this tell us about improving business? Apart from your inefficient keyboard, have a look at your process or your advertising and consider if anything is old dog material. Something that worked five or ten years ago might be worth revisiting. Are your optimizing your digital adverting potential? Streamlining onerous paperwork?

And when it comes to telling word histories. What does your shiny red messaging say about your history? Consider that something totally obvious can grow its own legs and become an entity of it's own—something like "Just do it" or "Melts in your mouth, not in your hands."

 

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