TNW Weekly: Danger! High Voltage!

TNW Weekly: Danger! High Voltage!

Every week we send out a weekly update with some of the best stories of the week, a few apps we like and the ‘Red faces of the week’.

Sign up now to get it delivered to your inbox every week. Here’s my introduction text for last weeks issue:


Danger! High Voltage!

Once upon a time, somewhere in a small town, stood an old church surrounded by bars and clubs. Every night, after the bars had closed, people would walk up to that church and empty their bladders. It happened so often that the soil under the church was soaked with urine, and once a year they had to replace the paving stones and the urine soaked sand below it. It was awful.

For years they looked for a fix. They asked the bars to install more toilets. They handed out leaflets asking – even begging – people to stop pissing against the church. Nothing helped.

Suddenly one day, the pissing completely stopped. So what changed?

Well the day before a young civil servant bought “Danger: High voltage” signs and posted them around the church at knee height. People walked up to the church, unzipped their pants, read the signs, and changed their minds. While no one believed the signs were real, neither did anyone want to be the first to risk finding out.

The moral of this story is that it’s very important to create an incentive – something to gain or lose – for your customer, client or reader. You can’t claim or beg your way to success; you have to intimately understand the needs of the people you’re serving.

And sometimes you’ll have to threaten to electrocute their dicks.


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