Can’t See the Opportunity Right In Front Of Your Face?

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Shift your perspective beyond the surface.

In the summer of 1990, I walked into a souvenir shop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and saw a man staring at the wall. It was bizarre. Moments later, his friend stepped beside him and asked “Can you see it?” to which the man replied “Yeah, I see it… that’s amazing!”

About 10 feet away, I stood confused as the man walked away from a cheap looking poster hanging on the wall, covered with a bunch of random color dots. I stepped up to the framed image, and fixed my gaze on the chaotic pattern, waiting for something magic to happen. Nothing. I walked away frustrated, certain I was a victim of a hidden camera prank.

Days later, I learned that the image was an autostereogram, a two-dimensional image designed to create the visual illusion of a three-dimensional scene within the human brain. To see one of these hidden images, a person must overcome the normally automatic coordination between accommodation (focus) and mergence (angle of one’s eyes). The eyes must focus on a point beyond the surface of the image, which feels really awkward.

This is a great metaphor for what we do at Datastory. We help decision-makers who are overwhelmed by the unintelligible jumble of customer and marketplace data. Our clients learn to use maps as a new kind of lens that focuses and shifts the perspective beyond the surface of the data. And this new vantage point reveals opportunities and risks in the market that were actually there all along.

Are you seeing the opportunity that’s right in front of you?