Improving your condiments
It takes a bold and confident cook to serve a naked hot dog. No roll, no kraut, no mustard.
And a movie shown on a bare wall in an empty room is never going to be received as well as one seen in a crowded theater.
It might be bold to put your work into the world unadorned, but it's probably ineffective.
We know that a placebo works better if it's handed to you by a doctor in a lab coat, and that the little show the sommelier puts on improves the taste of wine.
The packaging, the service, the environment, the hours, the interactions, the way it feels to tell our friends–these are all the free prize.
This bonus, the extra free prize that doesn't seem to be the point of the item itself, is often more important than the thing you think you actually make. The single most effective way to improve your impact is to do a better job of providing it.
Sure, a better hot dog is always appreciated. But when you want to increase user satisfaction, don't forget to offer better mustard.