Most of our clients want it both ways. They want to be loved fiercely by many and disliked by none. But it doesn’t work that way. Sadly, given the choice between being controversial and being boring, most organizations opt for the latter.

That comes at a price.

We’ve seen again and again that the organizations most willing to be polarizing (think Greenpeace) have the most fiercely loyal donor bases. What we didn’t realize is that this is a nearly universal phenomenon.

In his provocative book Dataclysm: Who We Really Are (When We Think No One’s Looking), renaissance man and tech guru Christian Rudder looks at “hot or not” personal appearance ratings by men and women who belong to OK Cupid. What Rudder found is that the women who attracted the most overtures were the ones found attractive by some and unattractive by others.

Rudder concludes: “Even at the person-to-person level, to be universally liked is to be relatively ignored. To be disliked by some is to be loved all the more by others.”

Or to quote Seth Godin, “if you’re not remarkable, you’re invisible.”