The UX of Andrew Garcia

Who is Andrew Garcia?  He is a contestant on American Idol.  What can he tell us about UX?  I’ll jump to the answer and then backtrack.

Great UX comes from making a segment of the audience love you with fanaticism, not from trying to please everyone.  Critics are the sign you are on the right track.

American Idol just got started, but Andrew Garcia has completely won me over.  He has taken two songs (so far) and completely transformed them into his own style.  The first was Straight Up by Paul Abdul embedded below.

The second was  Sugar we’re going down by Fall Out Boy embedded below.

The first one, the judges loved and the second one they hated.  To my ear, they were nearly identical treatments.  Why did the judges flip-flop?  I think it’s because they didn’t know the second song and they were familiar with the first.  Anyone who has heard the original Sugar we’re going down completely got what he did and it was brilliant.  Katie said she hated the Fall Out Boy’s version and loved Andrew Garcia’s version.

The point is:  You can’t try to please everyone.  If you know you have something special, you have to believe in it and build your tribe (Seth Godin’s term).  Judges in this world are like critics.  They don’t sing, they don’t entertain, they just pass judgement.  It’s like testing ideas in focus groups.  Archie Bunker, Seinfeld and Friend all had horrible test group scores.  But they had someone who believed in them.  That is what makes something spectacular.

Hopefully Andrew Garcia won’t compromise his artistic integrity.  Based on his last performance, which I won’t even link, he fell short.  He looks so awkward without his guitar.   I think he is letting the judges get to him. He should go for it, believe in himself.

Think about your own ideas.  Do the critics of the world water you down?  Do they pressure you to make everyone happy?  What do you aim for?

The lesson is:  25% ultra fans is WAY better than 75% like you ho hum.

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