It’s not about the outfit

The world invaribly pictures Steve Jobs in his signature black polo neck shirt and blue jeans trousers.

The most popular story about this outfit is that it helped Jobs make better decisions. By already choosing his clothes for the day, he had one less decision to make. One decision that he he could perhaps invest in enhancing the iPod’s user interface.

Did this simple routine improve his decisions very much? Not likely.

A writer tried Jobs’ routine for a week and observed how the routine didn’t live up to its hype. Instead, he found a slew of factors to be more important to decision making – diet, sleep, interruptions, focus etc., none of which had anything to do with one’s wardrobe. The reason the story about Jobs’ look is so popular is because of its visibility. That which is visible turns into a good story, and that which is a good story spreads.

When you wish to spread an idea, craft a story with its most apparent aspects. Alternatively, if you wish to evaluate an idea critically, downplay its most apparent aspects.

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