Seth Godin – The “Broken” Speech

Without even realizing it, many things in our world are broken. What do you encounter on a daily basis that is broken? What have you created that might be broken? Was it accidental, or was it on purpose?

Here is an example of a product we all use that is broken on purpose: the QWERTY keyboard. From Wikipedia:

[The] “Type Writer” had two features which made jams a serious issue. Firstly, characters were mounted on metal arms or typebars, which would clash and jam if neighboring arms were depressed at the same time or in rapid succession. Secondly, its printing point was located beneath the paper carriage, invisible to the operator, a so-called “up-stroke” design. Consequently, jams were especially serious, because the typist could only discover the mishap by raising the carriage to inspect what he had typed. The solution was to place commonly used letter-pairs (like “th” or “st”) so that their typebars were not neighboring, avoiding jams. A popular myth is that QWERTY was designed to “slow down” typists though this is incorrect – it was designed to prevent jams while typing at speed, allowing typists to type faster.

Seth Godin’s entertaining speech is below. I hope you enjoy it. Be warned: You will never look at the world the same way once you have watched this video.


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