Letting Go Of The Coconut

In design school we had this saying “You’re holding on to the coconut” and that meant that a student chose to continue with a concept that wasn’t “working” even after ample negative feedback. I think the phrase comes from some old story about a monkey being entranced by a “prize” that was meticulously placed in a coconut with a hole too small for the monkey to pull the prize out. One version of the story can be found here (sorry it’s a religious site).

I always try to remember that phrase when I’m working with clients and either they or I are pushing for something really hard because we are subjectively attached to the idea, and yet it’s still not working. As soon as you free yourself from that idea, and begin to explore other ideas, you’ll find something better, or maybe a solution to fixing the “coconut”.


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