Dramatic and Paper Thin

The Small Differences that Make all the Difference

In a recent flight over Colorado I sat by a window with a clear view of the mountains below. Because of the snow, it was easy to make out timberline.

Timberline is the elevation at which trees are unable to grow. Although it varies slightly around the world, it averages roughly 12,000 ft. When you see that area of a mountain it’s rather remarkable to see how dramatic and obvious the line is. When the mountain is covered in snow the line is even more dramatic. You can see the dark forest that suddenly gives way to stark white.

Yet when put in perspective the difference is rather unremarkable.

A few months ago I was listening to an interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about the earth in perspective. He said that the classroom globes we use with the relief of the mountains are grossly exaggerated. He said that if you were to shrink the earth down to the size of a cue ball it would be perfectly smooth. 

The diameter of the earth is roughly 8,000 miles and the difference between the deepest part of the ocean and the highest mountain is barely ten miles. When compared to 8,000 miles, 10 miles is barely noticed; it’s roughly 0.1% of the distance. At the size of a cue ball, you couldn't feel any of our mountains. 

Getting back to the tree line, if you could shrink the earth down to the size of a standard classroom globe, the distance between sea level and timberline would barely be the width of a standard sheet of paper.

Most people never find themselves at the elevation of timberline. From our perspective it’s a dramatic distance. Just moving from sea level to a place like Denver, Colorado causes many people to struggle for breath, and that isn’t even half-way to timber line. From a cosmic perspective, the difference in elevation isn’t even noteworthy, but from the human perspective it’s an enormous difference; it’s the difference between trees and no trees. It’s the difference between life and no life.

There is an interesting object lesson in this; those seemingly small differences that change everything.

In the world of entertainment they refer to it as the X factor. The subtle difference between two excellent singers that shoots one to become a superstar while another is relegated to a lifetime of Karaoke on the weekends. The difference between the two may be no more than that proverbial piece of paper mentioned before, but it makes all the difference. It's that variable that we can't define, yet we know it when we see it.

And in business that same thing exists. That small difference that causes one company to stand the test of time while others fall along the way.

When we formally started Audiomover almost twenty years ago, we were one of a number of companies entering this market space. And over the years we have witnessed dozens of companies come and go, but we continue to thrive.

We succeed without investors and without any financial assistance. We succeed because of you, customers who keep sending business.

Although I’m sure all of our competitors over the years do good work, we believe we have that extra thing that makes the difference.

That difference might be:

  • the fact that this business was built on my personal passion for audio and video production.
  • that this business grew organically out of a recording studio, it wasn't just a business idea.
  • our perfectionism and devotion to deliver a great product.
  • the number people in this studio who actually understand the media.
  • that we are reasonable with our pricing.

Our success could be related to all of these things or none of these things; or perhaps it's from something we don’t even realize. But if you use our service we think you will benefit from each of the small things we have that make all the difference.

It's worth taking the time to identify the areas where you have the X factor, where you have that paper-thin something extra that makes all the difference, and then focus your energy accordingly. In my opinion, true success and happiness can be found there.