Toy Story, Part 2: Play-Doh

Play-Doh is the complete opposite of a Mr. Potato Head. When you buy it, it has no particular shape other than the shape of its packaging. In fact, it is not even a toy — it is nothing more than raw material. And that’s its most remarkable feature. 

When you play with Play-Doh, you can shape it with your bare hands to whatever form you can imagine. Because it is so simple and basic, you are not limited by anything. Whatever you create is 100% yours. The value of this raw material — its ingenuity — is in enabling your creation. But once you’ve created something, the raw material no longer matters.

When you design your content to be like Play-Doh, it is primarily a raw material. It is flexible enough to be used in ways you cannot imagine. It contains abstract ideas the audience can shape and reshape until they lose their original meaning and become something else — something your audience needs. Your content has value, but once the audience creates something out of it, it is so different from what you have provided that your ideas are barely recognizable. They become the foundations for a grander structure, but as such, they might not be memorable or associated with you. 

Play-Doh content lasts longer and can have a greater impact than Mr. Potato Head content. It is often more profound, but at the same time, it might be too abstract for some people to play with. 

In tomorrow’s edition, we will explore an even better type of content. Content that includes carefully crafted ideas that your audience can use and reuse to build elaborated structures.

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