The party is ON! Join us at TNW Conference 2021 in Amsterdam for face-to-face business!

The heart of tech

This article was published on July 19, 2010

    The Teaspoon Effect

    The Teaspoon Effect
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    One of my fellow students in Art School once presented his work. It was our first year and he painted… something.

    The teacher asked what it meant and he explained how the image represented… something.

    The teacher smiled and said:

    “Ah, the teaspoon effect”

    He told us to imagine being in love with the girl of your dreams. She becomes an obsession. Then one day you are having tea with her. She takes the spoon out of her tea, and licks it. You stare at her lipstick mouth as she places the teaspoon next to her cup of tea. And then she leaves. You pick up that spoon and smell it. It smells like her and there is even some lipstick left on it. Then she leaves you and breaks your heart. The only thing you have left is this teaspoon. When you look at it you think of her. So one day you paint a painting of this teaspoon.

    To you, it represents her.
    To the rest of the world, it is a teaspoon.

    That was the teaspoon effect.

    Do you know people who suffer from the Teaspoon Effect?
    Are you a victim of the Teaspoon Effect?
    I know I am.
    I will say things like:

    ‘Isn’t this new idea cool? I know I would use it!!!’

    And that is the problem.

    I would only want to do things that I myself would use and an entrepreneur who says “I wouldn’t use my product myself but other people would” wouldn’t make a very good impression. So how do you find the middle ground?

    Show dedication without succumbing to the Teaspoon effect…

    Photo by Dani Sardà i Lizaran. Adapted from a previous post.