Credit: The Atlantic

The four-letter code to selling just about anything

Loewy (Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design) had an uncanny sense of how to make things fashionable. He believed that consumers are torn between two opposing forces: neophilia, a curiosity about new things; and neophobia, a fear of anything too new. As a result, they gravitate to products that are bold, but instantly comprehensible. Loewy called his grand theory “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”—maya. He said to sell something surprising, make it familiar; and to sell something familiar, make it surprising.

Derek Thompson in The Atlantic on “maya” and what makes things cool?