Part 4: Don't do Exhaust-Pipe Gynaecology 

Human thought is a funny animal. Give it complete freedom and it might under-perform. But impose a few specific, clever restrictions, or suggestive guidelines, and you can actually get better results from it. 

Psychologists use the term ‘cognitive framework’ to refer to this technique for looking at a problem differently and thereby improving insight.  

This week, I’d like to impose a guideline on your own thinking, in order to improve your observations about YouTube videos. The guideline is this: I want you to view 5 videos by experts in your own field and look for only one thing: What don’t you like about their videos? 

What’s irritating? 

For example: I watch a lot of videos about new cars online. My least favourite technique is what I refer to as ‘exhaust-pipe gynaecology.’ It’s when the cameraman gets so close to the new car he’s filming that we’re literally seeing the circle of the exhaust-pipe fill the screen. I don’t want to look up a car’s exhaust pipe. It’s meaningless to me and provides no useful information. 

I dearly want him to zoom back - do an establishing shot, for Pete’s sake! - and show me the entire car. Preferably with a pretty lady admiring it. 

To my mind, it’s one of the obvious errors that separates the amateurs from the experts in the world of automotive journalism. 

What constitutes that divide among experts in your field? Watch 5 videos - any 5 videos - online, and see what you notice, having pre-programmed your mind to seek out negatives. 

Out-perform the amateurs, and you can become the greatest in your game. 


Douglas Kruger is a professional keynote speaker at conferences around the world. He specialises in disruptive innovation and expert-positioning, helping brands to become more memorable than their competitors’. See him in action, or sign up for his motivational newsletter, at Book him to present for your leadership team: email