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It’s not what you know, or who you know.

Crabs in a Bucket

One summer afternoon, my friends and I were hanging out by a creek that ran by our neighborhood when one of us discovered that there were crabs in them there waters. Having nothing reasonable to bait them with, we tried tying a string around a rock, tossing it a couple feet off the shore, and dragging it back in. We hoped that the motion would get their attention and were astounded when we began to see them follow the rock.

You see, crabs are stupid. They crawled to the shore in droves, making the stone as effective as any bait you could buy. It’s no surprise that they are pretty low on the food chain with that type of gullibility. However, as anyone that lives by a beach can attest, you do not want to encounter one bare-footed on their turf. They hurt, making an undeniable case for leverage.

With size and intelligence against them in spades, crabs can still pull an advantage. The same can be said for bees, jellyfish, viruses… the list goes on. The lesson here is simple: all the knowledge and elbow-rubbing in the world does not compare to knowledge perfectly applied. True leverage rests only in how well you use what you know.

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.


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