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[flagged] An unexpected social trick I learned running out of business cards (medium.com)
41 points by matteoc on Nov 26, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 22 comments

Interesting and creative, but this guy is reading waaaaay too much into what cards people pick. My guess is that in reality, most people don't give a crap because they're going to put the contact info into their phones and then throw the card away.

Coming from Europe, I found it weird in North America that I get asked for business cards all the time but it's been 15 years since I got asked for one in Europe.

The US Border is bizarre, I get asked for a card when I cross almost all the time - like it's some sort of equivalent of a passport that proves I'm really on business. They had a sense of humor failure when I offer to email them one, so I stopped doing that and just got some cards so I can give them, and whoever else asks, one.

Business cards are a big part of culture in some places. In Japan, it's "an essential part of Japanese business ettiquette."[1] This is true to the degree that a show about a Japanese man who crushes business cards to get a reaction was invented. [2]

1: http://www.linguist.com/services-japanese-card.htm

2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuT2EjdnFU4

> This is true to the degree that a show about a Japanese man who crushes business cards to get a reaction was invented.

This is not at all "a show about a Japanese man who crushes business cards to get a reaction."

The clip you have linked is labelled as being from "Gigazeus" which is apparently a comedy tokusatsu (like Power Rangers) show. Since I was confused as to why there were other clips with the same person that didn't seem to be from this show, I wasted some time researching this and determined the following:

There was a series of dumb comedy tv shows that were supposed to be lessons in how to make people angry. In these shows, this actor (Shinichi Usui) was supposed to be a professor, who demonstrated how to make people angry by disrespecting them. The person who directed these shows then went on to direct the show the clip you have linked is from, and apparently brought on the same actor to do essentially the same thing but as a different character.

This was simply a short gag on two different shows directed by the same person that was more about the silly facial expression made by the actor than about the actual destroying of the business cards.

I have taken the time to write a reply (to this comment that is arguably only tangentially related to the original link) that is arguably unnecessarily detailed because misinformation about Japan and Japanese TV shows seems to be so prevalent on the internet. In particular, I want to dispel the idea that the very idea of crushing business cards is somehow so shocking to Japanese people (more than it would be in other countries) that there would be a reality show just about someone crushing business cards.

I stand corrected, and would edit my comment if I could. Thank you for teaching me about Japanese culture. (although I'll reiterate that business cards are still very important in that culture)

Coming from North America, I found it interesting how often I got asked for business cards in China. I usually just exchanged FB or email addresses back in the US.

In France I give and get business cards all the time (in a high tech company, so even more in me traditional ones). This is both when meeting people from similar firms and from consulting ones. This reminds me that I have to other a new deck.

What do you do instead?

Nah, they fill rolodexes or end up in a drawer somewhere. They rarely get thrown away. There is something to be said about cards (and arguably their holders) that leave you a not good enough impression to remember them though.

The second part is certainly true: cards get thrown away in no time.

I use the multi-image Moo cards, and have a bunch of them out on my table at conventions. They're great. Usually taking a business card is a throwaway thing. But when there's a bunch of different images to choose from, some people will get involved in it, and pick an image that they really like.

Some people just grab the first one that comes to hand, sure. But some people will spend a couple minutes looking at every single design and picking the one they like. Do you know how precious that is in the environment of a comic book convention? Someone is engaged with my promotional materials, in an environment where every square inch is filled with someone's promotional materials.

I can see the value of that when someone engages in the designs, but I think the engaging thing there is the choice, not the designs themselves. I'd be curious to know if you could create the same effect with cards that are exactly the same, but simply with different background colors.

@giacecco does something similar, but as a freelance data scientist, each of his business cards shows some graphic of a project he has worked on. He asks people to pick a card, then he tells them about the project they chose. Works really well

Now that makes sense and serves to anchor himself in their mind. So now when I find his card days or weeks later, I'm more likely to remember him and what he does. And that's the point. :)

While i think this social trick is clever, there are circles or perhaps industries where - as some other comments denote - recipients will not keep the cards; opting to simply enter the info into their phones, etc. However, i can definitely see in some other industries that are skewed more towards the social - such as but not limited to real estate, etc. - where this would work as a great ice breaker, or at least a method to keep some conversation continuing. Either way, I think this idea is pretty cool especially for how easy it is to do. Kudos to @matteoc!

I assume the author is greatly exaggerating how predictable people are. Otherwise, I'd like to know what happens when he offers his cards to, say, an LGBT programmer working in finance.

That would expose his "dominant" passion and maybe also the mood of the moment ;-)

this feels about as charming as a stranger approaching with heavy insistence to show a magic trick no one wants to see

I have cards... but rarely with me... if asked I just say, 'No, do you?' Then take their card, if they don't have one we trade email addresses, I have a way to contact them to follow up. I used to hand out a lot, but no one called, then maybe that's just me...

American Psycho jokes start in 3, 2, 1, ...

In fact I did not mention my business card holder ;-)

Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh, my God. It even has a watermark.

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