The Origin of Blue Goldfish and Convergence of Big Data & Little Data

What’s the inspiration behind the BLUE in Blue Goldfish?

Blue GoldfishHere is an excerpt from the book Blue Goldfish: (BONUS: On 2/2 and 2/4, the Blue Goldfish eBook will be free for download on Amazon. Click here to get your copy)

Blue Goldfish brings together two symbolic concepts to describe the intersection of technology and customer experience. To fully explain the connection we must rewind briefly to 10th century Denmark.

King Harald Gormsson ruled Denmark in the 10th century. The medieval king was notorious for uniting Scandinavia and converting the Danes to Christianity. Legend has it that Harald sported a nasty dead tooth that turned blue, earning him the nickname Blåtand, which is Danish for Bluetooth.

Fast forward ten centuries to 1996

A consortium of companies including Intel, Ericsson and Nokia came together to create a new short-range wireless standard. The three companies were all working on their own solutions and faced a challenge to name the new standard.

Harald Bluetooth GormssonIn 1997, the first step towards solving the problem came about in Toronto. Two of the engineers working on the project ended up going out for a night of drinking. Intel’s Jim Kardach met up with Ericsson engineer Sven Mattisson. Kardach had been working on a program called Business-RF and Mattisson had developed a comparable standard called MC Links. Over the course of the evening, the discussion turned to history. Mattisson had just read a book called The Longships by Frans G. Bengtsson about the travels of warriors serving King Harald Gormsson. Upon learning about the nickname Bluetooth, Kardach perked up, “It occurred to me that this would make a good codename for the program.” Kardach went on to pitch the idea to others in the group.

After much debate and no consensus, the group decided that Bluetooth would be a placeholder. Later on, the group decided to abandon Bluetooth when it came time to finalize the name. They agreed the standard would use IBM’s idea PAN, an acronym for Personal Area Networking. But it turned out that PAN presented some intellectual property challenges. A search for PAN online delivered thousands of different results. Again, Bluetooth became the working name until marketing decided on a different name. It never happened. Bluetooth became the standard bearer.

Walk With Pride

King Harald would have been proud that his 10th-century nickname would become a 21st-century fixture. His mark also appears on the Bluetooth logo, which is the Nordic letters H and B combined into a bind rune:

origin of blue

Drop the mark on a blue background and you have the familiar Bluetooth logo seen on millions of devices around the world. All because of a good king and his bad tooth.

Blue is a logical name for this book, which highlights convergence, just as Bluetooth was the result of a consortium and King Harald united Scandinavia. In our case, convergence represents big data and little data coming together to deliver notable trends and personalized insights.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a slideshare that provides an overview of the concepts in the book:

Lie Back and Think of England, But Do It For Denmark

Sex Sells…Vacations

Credit: Washington Post

Credit: Washington Post

Spies Rejser has caused a stir. The Danish travel agency has touched upon a major issue. Similar to many western nations, Denmark has a seriously low birth rate. With only 10 births per year / per 1,000 residents, something needs to be done. They believe a romantic holiday to London or other city destinations just might be the answer.

According to Spies website:

OUR MISSION – Let’s save the future of Denmark with romance

Denmark is facing a crisis. We have the lowest birth rate in 27 years. In Spies, we are concerned, the fewer Danes means less people to support the aging population – but sadly also fewer Spies travelers. Studies show that Danes have 46% more sex on city breaks, and then more sex increases the chance of more children, we ordain a romantic city break to save the future of Denmark.

do it for denmark

Well, it turns out that 10% of Danes are already conceived outside of the country (In case you’re interested, Brits top the list at 20% according to a report by NPR). Add in the fact that Danes also procreate more often when they are on holiday. The campaign is called  “Do It For Denmark.” Check out the two-minute YouTube video highlighting the cause:

A Little Something Extra

Enter the Ovulation Discount.

ovulation discount

Spies is offering an ovulation discount. Type in your cycle and their handy online planning tool will help you plan a fertile time to travel. In addition, there is grand prize for one lucky Danish couple who can prove they conceived a child while on vacation. I haven’t read the fine print, but I think they are looking for travel receipts and copies of birth certificates, not homemade videos.

do it for denmark prizes

Takeaway – This may be one of the best PR / Word of Mouth campaigns I’ve ever seen since Queensland Tourism’s, “The Greatest Job in the World.” Let’s break down the handful of ingredients:

1. Factual Data (about Travel)

2. A Social Issue (low birthrates)

3. Sex (our fascination with the amount of it)

4. A call to action (wink, wink)

5. Compelling Prize Package (for your little package)

One word: BRILLIANT. The video alone has already garnered 2.5 million views. Watch for this to become in the words of David Meerman Scott, “A World Wide Rave.”

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s another video from Spies. This one makes the case for sunlight and its positive effects. WARNING: The Test Dummies in this video end up doing something other than crashing:

A little something else:

Here is a fun mental game that’s relevant to this post: Here we go. Let me see if I can read your mind:

imgres-2Think of a number between 2 and 10.

Got it? OK, take that number and multiply it by 9. Now you should have a two digit number.

Add those two digits together and you should have a one digit number. Now take that one digit number and subtract it by 5. Now if A=1, B=2, C=3 and so on, you should have a letter that corresponds with your number.

Now think of a country that begins with that letter. Got the country?

Now take the second letter of the country you selected and think of an animal that begins with that letter.

Now think of a common color of that animal. Got it?”

Let me see if I can read your mind. Scroll down for my guess below:



I’m sorry, but there are No Gray Elephants in Denmark (unless you are a company called Valtech Software)