Things that have the same name are not always the same. Kids learn this when the dog on the street isn’t quite as friendly as the one at home. Soda companies learn this when they make and sell a budget cola – and customers are happy to pay twice as much for The Real Thing.
It works inversely too. I remind myself every day that just because my business does screen printing does not mean that I have to be like all the other screen printers. I fight to allocate time in my business to track down the unusual t-shirt style that’s perfect for Uncle Jerry’s new dog, try a new print style, or simply get to know my customers better on a personal level.
The most recent reminder of this idea, that same name ≠ same thing, came after a blacksmithing workshop. I took a metal rod and, over the course of a few hours, turned it into an S-Hook. It’s slightly misshapen. But that didn’t matter when I came home and happened to see another S-Hook, lying around the house. The differences seemed nearly infinite. The one I had made was larger, had decorative details, sturdier, and, most importantly, had more charisma. I don’t usually find myself talking about the charisma of metals, but comparing the two reminded me once again that things of the same name can be, and usually are, very different!