Understand The Big To Understand The Little

You learn about the little when you spend the time to learn about the big.

big-little Understand The Big To Understand The Little Written on August 26, 2022 and it will take about 2 minutes to read

I’ve loved the American Southwest since I was like 8 years old.

At 42 I still daydream about the ocean that left behind massive piles of sandstone like Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon and the Canyonlands. It’s mind-boggling.

[insert extremely clever segue from me liking the SW to a book set in the SW]

I was listening to ‘The People of Darkness’ by Tony Hillerman and a line stood out to me: ‘understand the big to understand the little’. 

It’s what Navajo tribal policeman Jim Chee recalled his uncle telling him about trying to understand people’s differences.

To me it sparked some thoughts on marketing and a short story about a former colleague.

First, the story.

When I was learning to code my work buddy Jay Pennington was beyond helpful. We’d riff on design ideas, code organization and more. Jay’s code always looked like art to me and was a really big inspiration on my approach to the parts of an app you’ll never see.

One day I was talking about learning jQuery and he said “why don’t you just learn javascript instead; it’ll make it all make more sense” – by learning the big, the small would make more sense.

I’ll be honest, I never really mastered vanilla JS, but I did learn enough to make jQuery and other JS derivatives make more sense. Thanks Jay!

Now onto marketing.

When I hear of a new ‘growth hack’ or brand, spankin’ new ABM strategy I go back to the root; if you know the big (marketing), then the small (whateverthefucknewthing) will make a ton more sense.

Marketing is a collection of a bunch of different things like brand, demand generation, product marketing, SEO, SEM, advertising, messaging, positioning, blah, blah, blah, blahblahblah – and understanding how it all fits together and each purpose will make it easier to break-down the next surefire thing to come along.

Understand the big to understand the little.


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