How to Become Popular: Road to a Blockbuster


Why male peacocks have colorful feathers

Why do the colorful feathers of male peacocks attract female peacocks? Some people may accept the simple explanation: “Because they are beautiful,” but I never did. In all through my school days from primary to university, I was an enthusiastic student. My main research subject was always “How to become popular with girls,” though you can imagine the results of my study from the fact that it continued up until university. Anyway, it was only natural that such an enthusiastic student became interested in the colorful feathers of male peacocks and got to learn the handicap principle.

The key to popularity is the handicap principle

Please give it a careful thought. Don’t you think the attraction of the colorful feathers make no sense? For example, lion’s mane looks reasonable because it has a practical purpose as a protector, but what about the feathers? They are no use and even an obstacle to move and run away from predators. Indeed, they may look beautiful to most of us, but it’s a matter of human sensibility. When my juvenile spirit voiced a complaint to a judge by appearance like this, the handicap principle kindly melted my frozen heart. The principle says what attracts female peacocks is not the beautiful feathers of male peacocks but their graceful movement strong enough to hide the handicap of the bulky feathers.

The portrait of a German designer team. Both of them are wearing a black shirt. They designed a dining chair for CondeHouse.
The designer team: Hoffmann Kahleyss Design

A new chair with a merge between comfortability and elegance

In coming June, we will launch a new dining chair. When I translated the interview of the designer team, some words to explain the design concept reminded me of the handicap principle. They said they wanted to make the chair as comfortable as possible and look as elegant as possible at the same time. It’s easy to make comfortable chairs. All we have to do is just stuffing a lot of cushions, which makes them look bulky, though. Comfortability and elegance sometimes conflict with each other.

Despite the handicap of the structural trade-off, the designer team and our product development team have made optimum solution in the new chair development. Now, I expect the new chair and our brand will look attractive in the market by the handicap principle.


Photo Credit: https://effectiviology.com/handicap-principle/


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.