About a week ago I chatted with a dear colleague of mine — it was shortly after Amazon announced its acquisition of Whole Foods Market. We marveled at Jeff Bezos’ ability to make seemingly counterintuitive moves which pay off in a big way (who would have thought that AWS will become a $14BN/year business).
Which brought us to Apple and its Apple Stores — the iconic shopping temples made out of glass, steel, wood and now even living trees. Apple Stores are famously generating more revenue per square foot than any other retail chain store in the world. And all this in a store which is largely empty and looks more like a modern art museum.
The Apple Store story is a story of counter-intuition. Instead of focussing on revenue maximization when Apple designed the store, Steve insisted on creating an experience which puts the consumer front and center. Products are displayed with ample room to try them out, the store only carries a small and highly curated selection of goods, instead of cash registers and checkout lines you have Apple Geniuses.
Every time the retail team wanted to tweak the design towards revenue generation, Steve insisted on bringing it back to the fundamental question of what is right for the customer and how Apple could create the best possible experience for their clientele.
Highly counterintuitive for sure. But also highly successful.
Which causes me to ask: What are you doing that might be seen as counterintuitive but is the right thing to do?