5 Minute Read | By Gino De Blasio
Stage 11 of the Giro and we are at that weird halfway stage. Today is all about the unknown hero of the day, even though they may be considered the weaker of the bunch they end up winning. It’s the tale of many a successful business, person and dare I even say, hopefully, one day, this blogger… Anyway, we welcome you to Malcolm Gladwell and prosecco. Thank us later!
Today is all about those rolling hills stages and with the way this Giro is going we daren’t make a prediction, especially after yesterday’s ridiculous stage. Simply ridiculous.
It was commonly thought that the story of David Vs. Goliath was all about, how lucky little David was. OK, that’s what I thought the story was about. In fact it wasn’t until I went to University that again, the story had reared its head. This time, the premise was that small nations could compete with much larger nations if they focused on the weaknesses of opposing nations.
Little was I to discover just 10 years later, I had been understanding the premise of the story completely wrong; I had been lied to since being a child. It’s like Christmas 1987 all over again. However it seems, so had everyone else.
Enter Malcolm Gladwell, an English born Canadian best selling author, journalist and speaker. (Don’t take my word for it, check Wikipedia!) Penning five, New York Times bestsellers lists, he has achieved a level of comfort with the level of analysis and detail that goes into every book.
Take for example his 2008 success, “Outliers; The Story Of Success” in it, the premise was to discover what factors made individuals successful. From analysing the birth patterns of Canadian Ice Hockey players to The Beatles, successful law firms to cultural differences playing a large part in perceived intelligence, Gladwell recites a study around the 10,000 hour rule. (The study was carried out by Swedish professor, Anders Ericsson where to be an expert in any field you would need 10,000 of precise practicing hours.)
Whilst critically acclaimed, areas of thesis were challenged, mainly through forum posts and lectures by sociologists and experts in a variety of fields, it was this that caused Gladwell to pen another book and address some of the queries raised; “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”
Gladwell addressed the question, what makes someone successful? The difference was, rather than looking at the tactic, it was about the character of the person and how seeming disadvantages can actually be advantages. You could say the fact that Giro Food is an average word count of 1500 words compared to 2013’s edition, 300 is the author trying to learn from Gladwell… The New York Times still hasn’t called…
Take the story of David and Goliath. WARNING: IF YOU’RE NOT PREPARED TO HAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN, DON’T READ THE NEXT TWO PARAGRAPHS.
Speaking to INC.com, Gladwell goes on to explain why we have all been seeing the biblical story the wrong way. “First, David’s sling is a devastating weapon. It’s one of the most feared weapons in the ancient world. The stone that comes from his sling has the stopping power equivalent to a bullet from a .45 caliber pistol. It’s a serious weapon. And second, there are many medical experts who believe that Goliath was suffering from acromegaly, which causes you to grow. Many giants have acromegaly, but it has a side effect which is, it causes restrictive sight. Goliath in the biblical story does, if you look closely, sound like a guy who can’t see.
So here we have a big, lumbering guy weighed down with armor, who can’t see much more than a few feet in front of his face, up against a kid running at him with a devastating weapon and a rock traveling with the stopping power of a .45 caliber handgun. That’s not a story of an underdog and a favorite. David has a ton of advantages in that battle, they’re just not obvious. That’s what gets the book rolling is this notion that we need to do a better job of looking at what an advantage is.”
For the full interview, click here.
If only I could have been taught as a child that being the runt of the family, playground and football team, had in its own unique ways the potential to unlock greatness… Maybe they knew I’d grow to 6’3 and remain as pale as a mozzarella from Campania and never quite achieve it.
Maybe they knew I’d grow to 6’3 and remain as pale as a mozzarella from Campania and never quite achieve it.
The seeming disadvantage faced by David to Goliath is by no means that dissimilar to the problems faced by the prosecco farmers of Asolo (Treviso) when marketing their product.
Cheaper, less brand recognition, not been quoted in a Bond film and not sprayed in the F1 paddock, Prosecco has faced massive problems when it comes to competing against its French counterpart.
And yet, it’s precisely because of its lack of recognition that is has been able to manoeuvre its business in a direction that has seen it take over sales of Champagne in the UK and US for the first time in it’s history.
So how has it done it?
It probably helps that it’s price tag isn’t associated with caviar, lamborghini’s and a French farmer being insulted at the fact that you’re wearing a $200 suit when purchasing a bottle. Not only is it lower in price than a standard bottle of the French sparkling white, it’s lower in alcohol, acidity and it’s sweet!
Where Champagne may have wielded its brand recognition much like Goliath with his size, Prosecco has parried with its flavour combination; take that, the proverbial slingshot as performed by David. According to Wine Folly, it’s flavour pairings, “leans more towards the sweeter end of the spectrum and because of this it’s an ideal match with cured meats and fruit-driven appetizers like prosciutto-wrapped melon and middle-weight Asian dishes such as Thai noodles and sushi.”
As recently as 2015, there were global concerns that the over-purchase of the alcoholic beverage was going to lead to Prosecco shortages. In scenes that could only be replicated with impending thermonuclear war or a Trump convention, scrambles were had with purchasing the last bottle of the Italian delight.
Finally, where Champagne has clung to the prestige of being cultivated in an expensive wine region in France, Prosecco has less of an issue with that kind of brand weighting. For many, it’s a “cheap version of the French stuff” whilst others see the benefits of being able to stock up for parties and events without compromising on taste to the untrained palette.
Where Prosecco may have thought that it would forever lose to the brand power of Champagne, it instead found the inner David and channelled its honest disadvantages into a major competitive advantage. Well, that’s what we think happened, unless Gladwell is bullshitting us all on his original analysis.
How should you enjoy a glass of Treviso’s finest sparkling wine? Valentina Harris’ array of cicchetti are a suitable place to start.
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