WOW Word-Of-the-Week #468: Delight

July 25, 2013 by  

Delight – something that gives great pleasure or enjoyment.

What thoughts come to your mind when you read this week’s WOW? Is it your computer? How about your cell phone? Oh, I know software right?

Believe it or not this is the latest buzz word trend to sell just those things. I kid you not! Chris O’Brien reporting from Palo Alto for the LA Times writes, “Yes, delight. A squishy, subjective, hard-to-pin-down term. So daringly unquantifiable, so proudly immeasurable. And now, suddenly, all the rage in data-driven Silicon Valley.

Like so many other things in Silicon Valley, the word is a legacy of Steve Jobs who often spoke of wanting to “surprise and delight” people. Now, Yahoo Inc. Chief executive Marissa Mayer wants to “put our users first and make their daily routines truly delightful.” Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and mobile payment service Square Inc., wants his companies’ products to “delight the world.” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom suggests, “If you delight people even a little bit with a simple solution, it turns out it goes very far.”

It’s not just Silicon Valley that is drowning in delight. In the surest sign that delight may be on the cusp of morphing from insurgent idea to overused buzzword, Microsoft and Dell have embraced it. It’s the corporate equivalent of parents joining Facebook, making it instantly uncool.

Delight cartoon

 “For Jobs, the word encapsulated the powerful insight that good design could induce people to fetishize their appliances, rather than just being satisfied with them,” says Geoff Nunberg, a linguist at UC Berkley’s School of Information.

I would say by the number of people who seem totally consumed with their IPhones Jobs did just that. They definitely appear to have a fetish!

This week’s focus is on delight. What gives you great pleasure and enjoyment? What do you do to delight your customers, guests, members or clients? Does your computer, cell phone, software, etc, delight you? I am grateful when they all do what they are supposed to do and don’t break down!


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