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Gregory Ciotti
Gregory Ciotti explores the intersection of creative work, human behavior, and habits on his blog Sparring Mind. To get weekly essays in your inbox, join his free newsletter.

Entries by Gregory Ciotti

The Customer Is Mostly Wrong

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 6:45 PM

One of the more iconic phrases in customer service is "give 'em the pickle," drawn from a story by Bob Farrell regarding an unhappy customer who couldn't get extra pickles for his hamburger.

The customer actually wrote a letter detailing the frustration...

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Beethoven's Surprisingly Simple Habit for Creative Breakthroughs

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 8:32 AM

Creativity does not rest on eureka moments -- it is a process, designed to consistently bring abstract ideas into the tangible world.

For creatives, this emphasizes the importance of routines. Random bits of profound inspiration are few and fleeting; consistent work in your craft requires a sustainable way to develop good ideas into great ones. Recall...

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Why Steve Jobs Didn't Listen to His Customers

(5) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 5:08 PM

It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.

-- Steve Jobs

One of the most famous opinions from a highly opinionated man. Regardless of your personal...

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The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding

(2) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 1:24 PM

The psychology of color as it relates to persuasion is one of the most interesting -- and most controversial -- aspects of marketing.

The reason: Most of today's conversations on colors and persuasion consist of hunches, anecdotal evidence and advertisers blowing smoke about "colors and the mind."

To alleviate...

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Supernormal Stimuli: This Is Your Brain on Porn, Junk Food, and the Internet

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 12:51 PM

"A wise man rules his passions; a fool obeys them."
--Publius Syrus

Given the rapid pace of technological change, one has to wonder whether or not our brains (and bodies) have been able to keep up with all the new stimulation that is available. Some research suggests that a...

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The Five Most Persuasive Words in the English Language

(55) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 1:39 PM

When it comes to assembling persuasive copy, like any other construction job, you need to rely on your skills, experience, and toolbox.

The toolbox of the writer is filled with words.

In defining what I believe is a critical element of crafting effective copy, I'll make...

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