23andMe. And Us.

This is not a story about a chance encounter that took place between yours truly and arguably, the most famous number 23 in history – His Airness, Michael Jordan. Instead, I would like to serve up my thoughts on the saliva based, at-home DNA kit that so many of my friends checked out lickety split when it was first launched.

23andMe lets you know how your genetics relate to all kinds of health conditions. It also helps you do a deep dive into your ancestry, often, with bizarre results. A Caucasian friend of mine with a huge love of General Tsao Chicken (three peppers spicy on the menu) discovered that she was 20% south Asian. Another pal, found out that he was 1% Mongolian, 40% northern European and in his words, “100% cool”.

One of my cronies even discovered a long-lost relative who now resides in her postal code and may even share her internet provider.

Why in the name of the double helix (yes, one of my clients is Ontario Genomics), are so many people fascinated with where they came from, what genes lurk beneath the surface of their epidermis and whether or not, they may be a long lost relative of Abe Lincoln, or even worse someone like Jack the Ripper or Rip Van Winkle (OK, the latter is a fictional character)?



I believe that we are all looking for something that makes us different, something that makes us unique or in the most colloquial terms, something that makes us stand out from all the other living, breathing, homo sapiens that are out there.

You might call it the marketing of one’s self. I would be more inclined to deem it the capitalization (Should the “c” in capitalization be capitalized?) of an opportunity.

Sparkplug does the same thing for our clients, minus the saliva.

We use our blood, sweat and tears (referring to effort, not the musical group circa the 70s) to provide our clients with insights on their unique point(s) of difference. They in turn, entrust us to develop creative solutions that leverage this knowledge to help them build their business/empires/sales/reputation.

We speculate that this approach is actually in our DNA. And perhaps, one day we will even call in the folks at 23andMe to prove it.