The Heroic Challenge of Delivering Happiness
Ever try to explain happiness?
Simple, complex, and intensely unique; its process and manifestations are different for everyone. It’s usually easier to choose happiness or express displeasure when the mark is missed.
What makes happiness so hard to explain is precisely what makes choosing to deliver it such a heroic challenge.
And it also what maake one thing be the foundation for choosing, finding, and getting happiness.
Amazon’s omnipresence is training us to think all decisions come down to cost and speed. Many do, but not all. Standard consumer goods like dog toys or detergent that shows up quickly and usually costs less is a good thing. But speed and low cost probably aren’t the metrics you’d use to choose a heart surgeon.
Everyday tasks like mowing a lawn, taking a food order, checking groceries, or getting the oil changed might seem simple and straightforward.
But -if it’s important to you-you love the guy who knows how you like the direction of the lawnmower tracks, and takes care not to just blow stuff into the neighbor’s yard. Ditto for the waitperson who immediately asks if there are any allergies. The cashier who puts the fragiles aside. The 6’4″ mechanic who re-adjusts the seat after they moved it back so they could drive the car in/out of shop.
The stakes get exponentially higher when the service in question increases in importance, usually involving speed, cost, and efficacy. It goes through the roof when intangible and emotional things are factored in.
Brad Inman is a real estate guy. Combination soothsayer and marketing guru, his namesake event, Inman Connect NYC is a big-deal annual gathering for those in the business. A few years back (eerily pre-COVID) his welcoming address spoke to this, kinda-sorta, via trucks/tractor-trailers he noticed during a cross-country drive.
The sheer number of trucks that were literally delivering happiness, and what the trucks said. I’ve been a watcher ever since. These local providers are dedicated to helping you keep promises, paint with love, allude to perfection, and yes it’s true, even encourage you to relax and have babies while they’re on the job.
Good communications are the foundation for finding, choosing, and delivering happiness. For individuals, it could mean quieting your inner self so you can hear that advocacy for that long walk, or vocalizing how you want the lawnmower tracks to run. For personal service providers, it starts with a commitment to a clear purpose, then doing what it takes to make it happen. This means investments of both time and funds for skilled staff, equipment, and business infrastructure.
Putting it out there-owning who you are, what you want, or what you want to be known for can feel risky. exponentially so Consumers might wonder “will I sound/look stupid, needy, cheap or (fill in the self-deprecating adjective of choice)?”
mazon built an empire on making people happy by delivering standard consumer goods like dog toys or detergent quickly and for less. They are very vested in keeping the conversation about speed and cost. Nothing wrong with that, and to their credit, their make that very clear.
Interesting sidebar, they’re experimenting with new signage, will be watching to see what’s next.
The people that wade into other’s spaces and lives; reading between the lines, sorting, untangling then going about doing what it takes to deliver happiness.
But Marketing 101 lays out three metrics, saying you get to pick two: Quality, Speed, and Cost. That is, whatever two you pick can happen, but business economics dictate the third can’t exist with the other two.