Threesology Research Journal
Advertizing 3's
page III

(The Study of Threes)

Stuart Smith viewpoint:
Thinking in

Stuart Smith, technology vice president for (BP) fuel and lubricants, shares his thoughts on the occurrence of trios in technology management.

Capital T he fundamental rhythm of life appears to be binary: the heart beats two in a bar, the tide ebbs and flows, and the sun comes up and goes down. Progress for mankind is made by putting one foot in front of the other. But for those of us in BP (British Petroleum) who develop, make and sell products, technology marches to a rhythm of threes.

H.O.B.: Let me interject at this point to say that the so-called two-patterned beat of the heart has a pause interval, whether or not most people acknowledge this. Graphically portrayed (and not as a "mountain/valley" image on an oscilloscope), a non-interval pause beat would look like a straight line. Whereas in the case of being able to identify two separate beats means there is a difference, and in this case the difference is highlighted by a pause. It might even be necessary to point out that the "two" beat may be a primitive stage of development in that a distinct "three" beat may be coming sometime in the future as humanity evolves. These same pauses can be identified with respect to the so-called ebb and flow of the tides. As for the Sun "coming up and going down," this implies a primitive perspective of the actual three-patterned dawn-noon-dusk triangular pathway that the Sun takes. And last but not least, the so-called colloquial reference of putting one foot in front of the other, is based more on a linguistic tradition in attempting to portray the stops- pauses- starts of progress, not to mention what can be labeled as what appears to be reversals in order to take another path altogether. With the foregoing said, it is necessary for us to distinguish between the reality of occurrence and not be persuaded to judgementally accept traditional expressions as what is actually taking place.

Technology is the iron link between two powerful groups, our own people and our customers, and our role as technologists is to create value from that link both for BP and for our customers. Let's first look at ourselves, the technologists, and assess how the three-step rhythm works here.

For those who develop, make and sell products, technology marches to a rhythm of threes.

The first step is to acknowledge that only world-class people create world-class technology and we are fortunate to have many such people in the company. We must continue to recruit, train and retain the best in the world, and fight for the resources to do this. Secondly we must exercise the management role of 'doing technology right'. The tools of project management, experimental design and the space to innovate must be continuously developed, and we must fight for the resources to do this too. But thirdly and crucially we have to be 'doing the right technology', the technology that the customer will value, the technology that ultimately makes BP profitable and keeps us employed.

World-class people creating world-class technology on the 'wrong' subject, project or product is just bad industrial technology. As Lord Browne reminded us recently, 'bad technology is worse than no technology'. We must find time with our business managers, marketing leaders and our customers to be sure that we are doing the right technology. There can be no compromise on these three elements in our rhythm.

So how do we find the right technology? In the commercial world of retailing products we simply ask the customer where value lies. Why does the customer buy from BP? Marketers have long understood that a supplier makes one of three value offers to a customer: lowest price products driven by lowest cost production, improved products with advanced attributes, or an intimacy with the customer's operations leading to improved customer processes and profitability. The balance amongst this trio must reflect our business model - or we are doing the wrong technology.

Once the business and technology models are balanced, we have another choice to make - again among three options: doing nothing, continuously improving the current technology, or seeking a step change in product, process or application. This can sometimes be the most complex choice trio to deal with, although continuous improvement would seem to characterise BP's principal mode of progression. We all want to work at the leading edge, but we must be there only when it pays, not before, and definitely not later.

So why these recurring trios in technology choices, drivers and events? Perhaps life's fundamental rhythm is not binary after all, but more akin to a triptych. Life - as does technology - has a beginning, an end and a most exciting journey in-between.

--- Frontiers Viewpoint: Thinking in Threes ---

The Rule of Threes
by Jason Meyers

The old rules of business still apply:
If you're not one of the top three,
ultimately you're not going to be successful."

— Matt Desch, chairman, Airspan Networks

Telephony, May 28, 2001

In any sector of the telecom industry, it's relatively easy to tick off the top three contenders. It's far more difficult to peg number four.

Dividing things into threes is universally acceptable. There's Aristotle's principle of the three unities of time, place and action. There's Freud's id, ego and superego. There's the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three strikes and you're out. Third time's a charm. Bad things happen in threes, and for some reason things are also supposed to be funnier in threes.

Given this industry's embrace of concepts like the new economy, strategic innovation and the next generation (that's three), you have to wonder how many communications companies are really all that familiar with the old rules of business — not to mention the rule of threes. But they should all learn the rule cited above, because it could not be more applicable than it is right now.

In many different ways, the communications business is divided into threes. When it comes to services and applications, we often reference voice, data and video, even though some of those categories are too broad to be any good. Service providers are sometimes divided into incumbents, independents and new entrants (again, somewhat inaccurately — so it's an imperfect model).

In any sector of the telecom industry — be it a specific area of technology development, a flavor of market strategy or a service delivery play (again with the three) — it's relatively easy to tick off the top three contenders. It's far more difficult to peg number four because there are just far too many options.

Sometimes the level of congestion beyond the third post is warranted. In times of economic abundance, start-up sectors flourish. Often the investment trend is regarded with disdain, with established companies in various sectors scoffing that VCs will throw money at anything. But that's what drives innovation, if only so that the best of the best can rise to the top and the not-so-great can be weeded out.

Then there are the weeding-out periods, one of which we are in the midst of now. These are the times when the early-stage companies with the strongest business plans and best management teams and the most solid funding typically endure. Likewise, those established entities lucky enough to have intelligent leadership that understands how to duck and cover also make it through. And it becomes easier than ever to identify the top three long-term survivors in any given sector.

It happens all over the industry. In any given regional market there are typically three major providers of different categories of service. When it comes to residential high-speed Internet access, for example, the options might be cable modem service from AT&T, ADSL service from some subsidiary of SBC and fixed-wireless service from Sprint. Then there are the rest. They might have been challengers in prosperous times, but now they're riddled with problems.

It also happens among technology developers. Here's a topical example: There are a lot of reasons why Alcatel and Lucent are discussing a so-called “merger of equals,” most of them having to do with technology gaps, geographical deficiencies and management short-falls. But the underlying reason is that one of these companies doesn't want to lose its designation as one of the communications Big Three, and the other desperately wants to attain that status.

Whether or not either of them will be successful in their pursuits is a debate for another time. Suffice it to say that if they do not end up among the top three, ultimately they will not be successful.

Contact Jason Meyers at:

© 2004, Primedia Business Magazines and Media, a PRIMEDIA company. All rights reserved.

--- The Rule of Three ---

The Rule of Threes

Here's an elegant approach to creating a buzz -- that highly sought-after "word of mouth" that marketers prize above all things. It resonates with everything I know about successful marketing, and it's a keystone of the Authentic Promotion process.

Here it is in brief:
  1. Consider the new result or outcome you want to manifest. For example, a successful coach might wish to develop a speaking business.
  2. Consider the way you need to be perceived in the world in order to create that result.
  3. Create three messages about you that are true and that, if widely known, would bring about this result. For example:

    • I love to get folks excited about marketing, especially people who think they dislike it.
    • I have material for keynotes, workshops, and seminars on marketing for professionals.
    • I bridge the gap between meaning and prosperity and I do it with a sense of humor.

  4. Choose three venues or media in which to "place" these messages. Extending the above example, you might choose from among the following:

    • An email newsletter
    • Face to face networking events
    • Press releases
    • Free monthly marketing seminar
    • Articles you send to professional associations to use in their newsletters

  5. Place the messages at least three times in each venue/media within three months.

The Rule of Threes prescribes simple, specific steps that result in a buzz that will, ultimately, establish you as the person you need to be in the public eye to get the results you want. It requires that you really BE this person, so it is important to reflect carefully as you craft the messages you will disseminate.

Now's a perfect time to craft your own Rule of Threes project for the coming year. What results do you want to manifest in 2003? Who do you need to be in order to manifest them? Where and how will you declare yourself to be this person?

A final caveat: the Rule of Threes is a process of seeding new realities. It is important to allow time for the seeds to sprout and develop healthy new growth. Expect results four to five months after you begin the process. Your best results are likely to come from friends of friends of people who encountered your messages first hand.

[I learned about The Rule of Three's from Kim Krisco's book "Leadership and the Art of Conversation." It is out of print, but well worth looking for in used bookstores.]

--- The New Leaf ---
Volume 4, No. 49, December 9, 2002
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1530-311X

MIAMI - A Wendy's manager was shot several times in the arm early Tuesday (05-28-07) trying to protect the restaurant's chili sauce, authorities said. A man in the drive-through argued with an employee because he wanted more of the condiment, police said. The worker told the customer that restaurant policy prohibited a customer from getting more than three packets. The man insisted on 10, reports said. The employee complied, but police said the customer wanted more. When the manager came out to speak to the man, the customer shot the manager, Miami-Dade police spokes-woman Mary Walters said. He was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said. The shooter fled with a female passenger.

"I did not know I got shot," store manager Renal Frage told WTVJ-TV in Miami. "When I went back to the office, I saw blood pumping out of my arm, and I was shocked. I was checking myself out and couldn't believe I got shot over some chili sauce." Frage added: "I got shot over chili sauce. I was trying to figure while in the hospital why someone would shoot me over some chili sauce." © 2007 Associated Press

-- Wendy's manager shot over chili sauce ---

(Notice also that the article provides three unnamed sources: Reports, Police, Authorities including one named source. Which makes it a 3 to 1 example.)

3 step cleanup seen on a Stefco (cloth wipes) container while in a 7-11 convience store: Clean it- Rinse it- Sanitize it.

Seen on a Panda Express beverage cup (April 2012):

Panda-logo (4K)

You Get 20%
of Sales!

It's as Easy as 1-2-3
  1. Visit
  2. Fill out an application
  3. Send flyers to your friends and family

Who? Any non-profit 501c organization
What? Receive 20% off pre-tax sales
Where? Any Panda Express location
When? Any day based on availability
How? Visit us online for details

Received as advertizements with a Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes entry form (April 2012):

Insta Hang picture hanging tool: It's as easy as...
  1. Load
  2. Level
  3. Press

Button Applicator: Easy as 1...2...3!
  1. Simply slip wire through button hole
  2. Hook button with wire
  3. Pull back through button hole

WARNING: Choking Hazard -- Small parts Not for children under 3 yrs. (Seen on the reverse side of the previous advertizement paper near the bottom between to advertizements for "toy" items: Princess Cupcake Party items and paint your own animals cookie kit.)

Just Snip It, Clip It & Zip It!
Instant Zipper:
  1. Remove the original zipper...
  2. Clip it...
  3. Zip it...

It's That Easy!

24K Gold-layered Bicentennial Collection: 3 coins! (Quarter Dollar, Half Dollar, One Dollar)

Taken from a Blog on running an Internet Penny Auction:

Hey all, I am Bellewiccan's Husband and I wanted to elaborate on what she was asking. Her and I just sat down and talk about some things. I talked to a local Radio Station today and got some cost on morning and evening advertising. This is $450 for 60 seconds. Now the concern my wife and I have is how many times we should advertise.

Now the salesman states that people usually do not notice your add until after the third advertisement.

But yet he also states that if I advertised twice a day and three times a week... this would not be enough.

(One ad twice a day three times a week = a 1 - 2 - 3 sequence)

So I am thinking that because he is a salesman, that he want to just sell me slots. So what I was thinking was advertising once evening slot a week for 90 days. This will give me a cost of $1,800 a month for 3 months. During this time, I also plan on using email marketing along with this. This is currently my 90 day plan to kick off my business. Can someone please advise us on if this is a good plan, all opinions are welcome. Thanks for listening and taking the time.


From the book: Enterprising Women, Lessons from 100 of the greatest entrepreneurs of our Day, written by A. David Silver, ISBN 0-8144-0226-7 (Hardcover) copyright 1994...

page 26, Chapter Three, "The Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship"

The fundamental law of the entrepreneurial process is that the creation of a valuable company is a function of the interrelationship of three variables:

  1. Identifying the problem.
  2. Creating a solution that fits the problem.
  3. Building a team of people to deliver the solution to the problem.

Stated another way, wealth or a high valuation (V) is generated through the process of building a team of people (E) to implement the entrepreneur's mission to solve a problem (P) that is affecting a large number of people by creating an elegant solution (S) and conveying it to the problem through multiple marketing channels. Stated as a formula:

V = P x S x E


V = valuation
P = the size of the problem
S = the elegance of the solution
E = the quality of the entrepreneurial team

Your Questions, Comments or Additional Information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland