The French are weird. 

I love them, but they’re weird.

Take yesterday – my first full day since I moved to Nice…

It was 17 degrees (63F) outside. Half the people were walking around in puffa jackets. The other half were in t-shirts (no jackets). And, if you went down to the beach, you’d see a bunch of old men in speedos (AKA “budgie smugglers”).

What the hell?

Everyone was at one extreme and few people were in the middle (thin jacket + jersey).

It reminded me of a story Rory Sutherland tells in his excellent new book, Alchemy.

It goes like this…

Rory and his wife were shopping for new bedding. After looking at a bunch of options, Rory said, “I’m happy to spend one of two amounts of money: either nothing or a lot.”


Because, as Rory points out, the joy isn’t in the middle, it’s at the extremes.

If they spent nothing, they could spend the money on something else. That’s fun.

If they spent a lot, they could fixate on the thread count, or the Egyptian thread… and that would be fun.

But buying run-of-the-mill sheets is boring.

The lesson?

Most businesses look at what their competitors are charging, and set their prices around the middle. (Or, to be “safe”, slightly below the middle.) 

But that puts them in the “indifference zone.” Success tends to be at the outer edges.

Steve Gibson