In 1900 the Michelin brothers owned a tyre company in France.
They wanted to sell more tyres.
And, in order to do that, they needed to get drivers to wear down the ones they had.
So in 1900 they issued the first Michelin Guide.
It showed all the great things to see and do around France.
It encouraged people to get out in their cars and drive to all these places.
It featured a list of sights to see, places to buy petrol, places to stay.
The locations of garages, mechanics.
And, being French, good places to eat.
Whereas with a complicated proposition you dilute and fragment your message.
Less important points don’t add to the communication.
They detract from the most important point.
That’s what the single-minded proposition is all about.
That’s why we need people to make the effort to decide what is absolutely essential.
Not just people who think of what else they can include.
Welding a JCB to a Ferrari doesn’t make a machine that can dig roads at 200 mph.
It makes something that can’t do either job properly.
It’s an American agency called Wundermann.
Apparently, one day the owner flew in to visit his agency.
He was a big, brash New Yorker.
He drove straight into the car park below the building.
The gruff cockney parking attendant stopped him.
He said, ‘Where you going, guv?’
The American was indignant.
He said, ‘I’m parking, of course.’
The parking attendant said, ‘You gotta permit?’
The American said, ‘No.’
The parking attendant said, ‘Then you ain’t parking here.’
The American was outraged.
He said, ‘Do you know who I am?’
The parking attendant shook his head and said, ‘No.’
The American got out of the car, raised himself up to his full height, tapped his chest and said, ‘I’m Wundermann.’
The parking attendant said, ‘I don’t care if you’re fucking Superman. You ain’t parking here’