Art of Message
The odd story of the world’s first product messaging
This is sort of like a short detective story – who authored this messaging? In what decade did they do this work?
Well, it might have been in the 40s – the 2,600,040s BC, that is. Give or take 100,000 years.
The first technology “products” were made in the Olduvai Gorge, in Africa, about 2.6 million years ago by homo habilis – our ancestors.
Homo habilis were the first technology innovators; just as the IPhone was a three-in-one , they designed multi-purpose tools: plant-processing, woodworking, hunting.
To do this, they had to select and experiment with the right “tech stack”- the existing technology used to make new technology.
This mean chert and flint over basalt, quartz and other rocks. Especially certain kinds of flint that were easy to shape through precision chipping but also partially smoothed, providing handle surfaces for better UX. But it also meant choosing the right “hammerstones”, the hard rocks (like quartz) used to shape flint.
Another strategic capacity was knowing where to source materials. Firstly, there had to be a sufficient supply to make it worth the calories to get you there. Eroded hillsides exposed large quantities of flint that had been naturally pre-eroded by wind. So did riverbeds – and water erosion provided even smoother surfaces. But then you had to worry more about lions and other predators animals.
Where and how to source the tech stack, how to design and produce the products – this knowledge was refined through careful observation, collaboration, and learning. And through consideration of the various requirements these products had to fulfill, from butchering to tailoring.
That’s where our leader emerged, with vision, knowledge, and powerful product messaging:
“Let’s go there”.
Here’s the thing – product strategy and messaging is nothing new. It’s part of being human.