Sometimes You Have to See It to Get It
Imagine your name is John. Now imagine it came to light that Lionardo DaVinci had painted “John” into the Mona Lisa. How would that feel?
Imagine how much more meaningful that image would be now that it has your name on it.
Now imagine that anyone in the world looking at that painting saw their own name on it.
Think about the impact it would have. Anyone looking at that image would feel connected to it.
When I first came up with the idea for PicSnippets, pretty much nobody got it. Any time I tried to explain the concept, peoples’ eyes sort of glazed over. I could tell they weren’t seeing what I was seeing.
This was back before emojis had taken over messaging. It was before GIFs were popular. We didn’t send images as much as we do now, so I guess it makes sense that people would struggle to see what I saw.
The other problem was that most of them saw it as superfluous or gimmicky. Putting someone’s name on a “Happy Birthday” image doesn’t add much. In fact, it might actually be a distraction by seeming a bit too tacky.
Looking back, my struggle to explain PicSnippets is actually kind of ironic. Visual concepts are very difficult to explain using words. The impact doesn’t quite translate. I was trying to use words to do an image’s job, which always seems to come up short. And that’s a huge part of what PicSnippets is for. Sometimes you have to see it to get it.
So I decided to stop “telling” and start “showing”. We debuted an image for SixthDivision and people started to catch on to what was so powerful:
Then one of my former colleagues realized the potential. He managed to convince Frank Kern to use PicSnippets in a promo email. They had better response from that email than from the previous 3 months combined!
That old saying is definitely true, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
All I did was come up with a way to add one more: your name.