As Rory Sutherland would say, it doesn’t have to make logical sense, it just has to be psychologically effective. I use this expression all of the time and it’s come to my attention that not everyone knows what I’m talking about. So, if I’m sending you this, it’s because I created this note for future reference.
In everything we do, we should keep in reserve (juuuuuuust in case) that little special something that kicks it up a notch.
When we perform, at work or on a stage, we want to know we can turn it up to 11 if we need to.
If you don’t know the expression, here’s your primer (from Spinal Tap):
Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.
Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.