Posts Tagged ‘Jacqui Norman’

The customer doesn’t want a quarter-inch drill. He wants a quarter-inch hole.

The drill itself is merely his instrument of delivery, just as the cameras of fotoLibra photographers are theirs.

That’s the sort of insight that delights management consultants, and it does have a certain seductive logic. If you concentrate on what the customer actually wants, instead of dressing up your product to fulfill your own desires and aspirations, then the road to fortune and fame will be open to you.

That was the disruptive thinking that lay behind the concept of fotoLibra. We are neither photographers nor critics. Who were we to judge one photograph over another? It would be purely our personal taste. It would have no reference to what the market wanted.

Our solution? Let the market itself decide. In fact, we would go a step further — the market would detail what it wanted to buy, and we would tell our photographers through regular Picture Calls. How simple is that?

Then fotoLibra found itself in that awkward position between overbearing boss and nagging wife. All our photographers wanted to do was buy spiffy new lenses, and there we were hectoring them about the photographs they should be taking, not the ones they wanted to take.

Happily I hope we’ve matured a bit. We’re more relaxed about the choices our photographers make. And going back to our drill imagery, our picture buyers don’t care if the photograph has been taken with a Coastal Optics 60 mm f/4 UV-Vis-IR APO Macro or a pinhole camera, as long as it matches their imagination.

So in our regular Picture Calls we describe the “quarter-inch and other-sized cavities” our customers are looking for to our army of photographers, and with the tools at their disposal they go out and Drill Dem Holes.

And it works very well.

And because the burden of fortune and fame is not yet an intolerable weight on the shoulders of fotoLibra, we’d welcome a little more of both.

Guitar Porn

May 26th, 2010

Three male members wrote in to complain about Jacqui’s “sexist” depiction of male readers in the GUITAR PORN Picture Call (read it here) sent out earlier this week. She was prepared to stand her ground, but on my advice she unreservedly apologises for any upset she may have caused. It was clearly an improbable assertion; the story was meant to be funny, and she is sorry people were unable to read it as such. What amuses some will offend others.

The fault lies with me. I told Jacqui about Guitar Porn, saying there was a sector of the book publishing market which aimed books at people who preferred to look at pictures rather than read too many words. This sector is overwhelmingly male, and subjects they enjoy are big breasts, Harley-Davidsons, guitars, farm machinery and so on. More granular market research reveals that these books are generally bought by women for their menfolk. What Jacqui wrote was based on what I said, and I fully approved it.

Despite some confusion about my name in foreign parts, I am a man, and I know the markets these books reach. I feel it’s perfectly reasonable to poke fun at them — unless we can’t poke fun at anybody ever again for fear they’ll take offence.

Nevertheless my comments as interpreted by Jacqui were seen as sufficiently offensive for three people to complain. That means there were at least thirty who felt the same way but couldn’t be bothered to write in. I’m sorry that I (for it was my doing) upset these people, but it was meant to be light-hearted. A flat announcement for photographs of guitars is too dull for fotoLibra.

That said, another three people wrote in to say how much they enjoyed Jacqui’s sense of humour.

That argues at least another 30 do too.

You, I thank.