Tuesday, August 17, 2010

value again

The story goes that one day, as Socrates was philosophising about one thing or another, an acquaintance approached him and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?”

Socrates: stopped the acquaintance and asked him to pass his message through the Triple Filter Test.

The three filters being:

1. Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?
2. Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?

3. Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?

The fella was flummoxed as he could not back up the message with any of the 3 criteria and trotted off bewildered.

And Socrates never found out that Diogenes was shagging his wife.

This story retold from Jonathan MacDonald's excellent blog.

It made me recall the theory of value I posted about some time ago.

The components of tangible value being:

1. Beauty
2. Gain
3. Good

Notice that truth is not present in this triangulation.
For Socrates too, there was probably no value for him in knowing the truth about what his wife and Diogenes were up to.

There was a story I heard about a doctor with a pregnant Muslim woman patient. She asked for a line to say she was not pregnant when the truth was, she was.
The reality was that the woman faced being potentially murdered to preserve the 'honour of the family'.
The doctor took the view that the value of life was more important than the value of 'truth', and issued the note.

From an advertising perspective (that's what this blog is supposed to be about, after all) though the triple filter test is a good rule of thumb.

Truth - is the message being transmitted actually true and transparent? Or is it at least a 'true lie' - a story we are happy to tell ourselves?

Good - Is the world a better place for knowing or acting upon this thing?

Useful? - How does our product/service/message enrich the experience of the customer and make them want to share it?

Kinda thing.

blog comments powered by Disqus