Driving home today, I was listening to Seth Godin’s podcast and he told an interesting story about the U.S airforce in the 1950’s.

Here is the brief version.

In the 1950’s, the U.S airforce had a problem where the pilots were dying because they couldn’t control the planes. 

Lieutenant Gilbert Daniels was tasked to find out the root cause and make necessary changes to prevent the accidents.

 

What Daniels found was that the seat in the flight deck didn’t fit the pilots anymore. 

 

The design hadn’t been updated for over 30 years, however, the pilots had become taller and stronger over the years. 

 

Daniels decided to redefine what an average pilot was like in terms of the size and try to redesign the seat for the average pilot.

 

He sampled more than 4,000 pilots on 140 dimensions of size, including thumb length, crotch height, and the distance from a pilot’s eye to his ear, and then calculated the average for each of these dimensions.

 

It turns out no one fits the average. 

 

instead, Daniels pioneered the idea of the adjustable seat to make the seat accommodate the pilot. 

When it comes to humans, there is no average human being. We are all unique in our own ways.

Have you had the experience of fitting in or sometimes being told you don’t fit in the system?

At work, we are managed (usually not led) to meet the company standards and hit the performance targets.

At school, we were taught to obey the rules and pass the standardized academic tests so that we are all prepared for future employment and most of us end up being average.

As customers, we are also demanded by industrialism to fit in the system so it’s cheaper and more efficient to serve us the customers.

The banks are the same, they want to find the average customers who can perfectly fit in their scientifically calculated models and risk profiles.

Very little thought was put into finding the customized solutions to accommodate the customer’s unique situations and needs because that is not standard and therefore not very economical.

However we ‘average’ customers don’t want to be standardized. We want to be seen, heard and understood.

The U.S airforce pilots needed Lieutenant Gilbert Daniels.

You need someone like Lt. Gilbert Daniels for your finance.