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“I’ve stumbled on beauty.” The ground was gray, the horizon melding seamlessly with a velvety black sky. Reflecting in the plain beneath us, four beautiful icons gazed out, happily rotating in a graceful dance. I held my breath, reached out, and pressed a key. The wrong key. The icons faded down, and in the distance, my screen reappeared and swooped towards me. I was back in reality.

It was the day after I switched to the Mac, six weeks ago. My fingers, trained by 15 years of Windows use, typed some magical incantation and took me somewhere … beautiful. It took three days of searching to figure out what I’d done.[1]. In my search, I became a convert, wishing dearly to recapture that moment.

Stumbling on beauty. What a great experience for a customer. Disney knows it, too. Where else can you stumble on a candlelit dinner for two overlooking the Caribbean…in the heart of Orlando. It’s the little things that grab people’s hearts and keep them coming back.

How do people use your product or service? Can you arrange for them to stumble on a delightful surprise? Perhaps hauntingly nice music at an unexpected moment. Beautiful artwork. Or (gasp) full-service at self-serve prices. It needn’t be expensive, just fun and unexpected.

But why stop at work? It works with friends, too. Send a “thank you for being my friend” card to your best friend. Or watch your cuddle bunny wander around the house at night, finding a little poem hidden in a favorite before-bed snack. Maybe a quiet love song as they fall asleep. Or your kids…what if they stumbled on a free concert ticket beneath their pillow for no reason at all—just because.

We get so wrapped up in the daily grind that we often forget it’s the truly exceptional moments that make the biggest impression. It works in business, it works in your home life. Plan some exceptional moments for the people around you and watch what happens. Nothing compares to Stumbling on Beauty.

P.S. If you haven’t spent time with a Mac recently, run to your nearest Apple store. They’re really quite something!

[1] Command-escape in OS 10.4.8 starts the Front Row media center. Don’t tell Windows users, though. They must buy a whole special edition of Windows to get a decent media center experience. back

Stumbling on Beauty: Creating Passionate Devotion…

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