William Liao

December 29, 2021

the exception

As I wandered across a shopping center this past Black Friday, two notable remarks seemed to dominate the air regardless of what shop I was in: 

“You should buy that, that’s on sale!” and “don’t bother, that’s always on sale.” 

The thing about exceptionalism is that it’s not enough to claim to be different; there actually has to be a discernable difference.

It’s not always going to be enough for a company to merely claim that its product is discounted; its product actually has to be discounted by an amount that meaningfully deviates from historical observation. 

Value is a two-way street. Anyone can claim to offer it, but someone else must ultimately provide validation in the form of their participation — whether it’s signing up for the mailing list, RSVPing to your meeting request, or in this case buying the discounted product.

The market will always be honest with you. 

If the work is exceptional (valuable), the market will let you know by way of its engagement. 

If the work isn’t, the market will let you know by way of its lack of it. 

Either way, you will have learned something.