A few days ago, I was walking our dog past a building site that was secured by a series of fence sections. On one of these sections, one of the construction companies involved had hoped to draw attention to itself with a canvas advertisement. In my case it really succeeded.
“Solutions + Ideas.” What could be read there in big letters set a few thoughts in motion in my mind. It was probably also due to the dog walk, which didn’t exactly tax me intellectually. So I got to thinking… and had fun doing it.
What were they supposed to be pointing out to me here? Surely something that is particularly important to the company. A claim, a unique selling point. Hmm, …. I stumbled over the order of the terms. First solutions, then ideas. Strange, actually you need ideas for solutions, I thought. In reverse order, the terms would not have landed on my consciousness level at all. What could the meaning be if I accept the order as a deliberate choice? We have solutions and we have ideas. Not necessarily both at the same time and coupled together. Maybe they are ideas needed after we have built a solution? For disassembly, for rebuilding in case of complaints or something. That could be useful in the construction industry. I’m no expert in that field. But can’t ideas also be an “added value” to the solutions? Solutions that offer something aesthetic over and above their usefulness? Why not even underground? But then it should have been “solutions with ideas”.
It is interesting that there is a plus sign between the two terms and not “and”. This put my pondering on a mathematical track. So now I asked myself: what is the sum of “solutions + ideas”? What could follow an equals sign? Did they leave it out because they didn’t know (yet)? Could they have meant the product portfolio? But that would be too unspecific. That would be no distinction at all from the competition. Maybe there is none – with such a claim.
Thinking systemically, this formulation could also be an intended paradox. But “solutions” and “ideas” in a paradoxical relationship? In this case, both terms already convey something contradictory: the material and the intellectual. But both are ultimately found in “solutions”. Perhaps “solutions” was simply the most important thing to the contractor, but not enough. And so it came to “+ ideas”. Perhaps this could not be omitted because we live in a knowledge society.
Perhaps other associations will come to mind as you read this. Write them down in the comments section below. I would be happy to make their acquaintance.
Who knows what effort it took for the building contractor and his advertising agency to come up with this condensation of his corporate philosophy. For the fee, I’m sure I could have taken a long holiday in the South Pacific. But in the end, didn’t the two of them achieve what they intended?
Original text: PUE
English translation: BCO
- Lösungen: PUE