2 December 2019 | 13 Comments
If you haven’t watched The Mandalorian (but intend to someday) and also somehow haven’t seen anything on the internet about Baby Yoda, I’d recommend that you don’t read this article.
The Mandalorian is a live-action Disney+ show set in the Star Wars universe. It features an armored character whose face we never see…and an absolutely adorable character that looks like this (as far as we know, it’s not actually Yoda, but the world has decided to call him Baby Yoda):
While watching the most recent episode–the details of which I won’t reveal–a few things occurred to me:
- Baby Yoda is designed for maximum cuteness. Big eyes, tiny hands, big ears, slightly concerned expression, large head compared to body…I thought my cats, nieces, and nephews were the cutest creatures in the world, but Baby Yoda takes cuteness to a new level.
- My enjoyment of The Mandalorian is at least 70% due to Baby Yoda. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and I would have watched the show regardless of Baby Yoda. But while I went into the show expecting the Boba Fett lookalike to be the most interesting character, it’s instead Baby Yoda who steals every scene.
- Jon Favreau knew exactly what he was doing by including Baby Yoda. The showrunner made an intentional decision to create and include Baby Yoda, and it’s at least partially due to people like me. In the gritty world of The Mandalorian, Baby Yoda is soft, vulnerable, and lovable.
There are some evolutionary theories about cuteness (i.e., why human babies are cute). The reason is that they trigger our protective instincts. Same with kittens, puppies, etc. Seeing something cute triggers the caretaking part of our brain and then releases dopamine to make us feel good about the decision.
What does this have to do with entrepreneurship? It’s all about product design. Baby Yoda is an excellent reminder to me that I have control over the cuteness levels of my products, and when yielded well, this power can result in a special level of appeal as demonstrated in The Mandalorian.
I think The Mandalorian features cuteness particularly well because of the juxtaposition between gritty and cute. Gritty by itself is fine and cute by itself is fine, but when you combine gritty and cute, there’s the potential for something special.
Can you think of other examples of overwhelming cuteness? Is there a product you were unexpectedly drawn to due to cuteness? I’m curious to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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