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A brand, a business and a career. From a nametag.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Train Hobos and Chicken Bones

Strategy is a series of moves to get what you want.

It’s about approaching a task, project or situation in a logical, holistic, intelligent, creative and comprehensive way, understanding the why behind the what, taking into account all the relevant variables and asking tons of hard questions.

It’s about working every possible angle like a train hobo with a chicken bone, taking the world apart and putting it back together again, putting the process on a pedestal and knocking and knocking until the doors of ignorance have no choice but to open.

The hard part is, strategy takes time, commitment, endurance and grit. The word itself comes from the Greek stratos, or “expedition.”

And if we’re not willing to pay that price, all we’re left with is a pile of tactics and a few short-term victories.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Dull Blanket of Sameness

When an industry starts to become cannibalistic and incestuous, it might be a good time to walk away.

We’ve seen it in a number of fields, from comedy to publishing to consulting to entertainment. 

People start feeding off and breeding with their own kind, inhaling each other’s fumes, building business models around each other, sharing the same stories, being guests on each other’s shows, living in each other’s pockets, swapping customers and saturating the market. And because these folks meet most of their needs inside the boundaries of their own family, playing nothing but inside ball, they eventually isolate themselves from the outside world and retreat into an effortless, airless, echo chamber stroke fest.

The result is an infinite regression, a dull blanket of sameness draped over an entire industry, where people’s willingness to listen and stretch and expand is muted.

That’s when it’s time to move on.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The New Chain of Influence

The best way to reach future customers is through existing customers.

That’s the chain of influence. Now that people have replaced their trust in traditional authorities with trust in each other, they don’t want to hear from the companies who make the products, and certainly not the experts who review them, they want to hear from the amateurs, the real people, who actually use the products.

Rotten Tomatoes, the world’s best film review aggregator, is a fascinating example. For every movie listed, they post two kinds of reviews. First, the ones from approved critics, usually certified members of writing guilds or film associations, who review movies for a living. And second, the reviews from registered users, usually film fanatics and regular people, who simply love going to the movies and sharing their experience.

Who are we more likely to trust?

Well, if I’m going to leave the house and part with my precious time and money, personally, I care less about critical acclaim and more about casual approval.

The balance of power has shifted. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Treat Them Like a Client, Even Before They Become One

Here’s a generosity experiment worth trying.

Treat someone like a client, even before they become one.

No need to break the bank, give away the intellectual farm or collapse your entire agenda on moment’s notice. You still have to rational and realistic.

But just this once, just for fun, act as if the prospect you hope to land is already a paying client, someone who likes, trusts and believes in your value.

Not to create a sense of indebtedness. Not to crate social pressure to reciprocate.

Just to see how powerful generosity really is.

And yes, there’s always the possibility that potential clients will agree to meet with you, ask a thousand questions, take copious notes, act like they’re going to hire you, then have a staff person do the work instead and never call you back because they might need to exploit you again in the future.

But it’s also possible that prospects will be so floored by your ideas, so wowed by the generous spirit in which they were delivered, that they almost won’t know how to react to such a act.

Are you providing value in advance of a purchase?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

When Anyone Can Do Anything, They Will

It’s easier than ever to do it, but it’s harder than ever to make a living doing it. 

For example, there is more music being created than ever before, says editor Paul Resnikoff, but paradoxically, musicians are making less than ever before, thanks to a deflated ecosystem once primed by traditional major labels, massive changes in recording technology, trends in pricing structures, cultural shifts in taste, evolutions in genre and nonexistent barriers to entry.

And it’s not just music.

The same goes for publishing, performing, photographing, blogging, designing, consulting, coaching, crafting and coding.

When anyone can do anything, they will.

And when they do, when scarcity goes the way of the dodo, the value of the product plummets, and profitability becomes harder and harder to achieve.

Personally, this scares the shit out of me.

It this the end of the world, or the beginning of a new one?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Human Implications of Joining

Good brands are bought, great brands are joined.

Over the last few months, I’ve interviewed fifteen presidents of fifteen organizations with amazing culture. And upon revisiting each of those conversations, I’ve realized a key insight about belonging.

If you want more people to join your brand, you have to understand the human implications of why we join things in the first place.

People join where they can belong, make meaning and enjoy the company of others. They join to participate in a venture, a crusade that accomplishes much more than they ever could individually. They join to come alive in the role that was designed for them. And they join to do what they love in an environment that wants them to do it.

People join where their craziness and uniqueness will be embraced. They join where they will be understood. They join where they can pillage the playground of their minds and put their fingerprints on the things they love. And they join where reality is as big as their imaginations allow it to be.

People join where their real self can exist. They join where what they do is what makes them feel most beautiful. They join where they can use their own creativity to solve problems. They join where they’re not in competition for the right to be treated decently.
And they join where they can be serious about their talent and their obligation to use it.

Build that, and they will come.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Customers Value Context Before Content

The wheels of online commerce run on positive reviews.

But there’s a shift.

In the past, online reviews were evaluations. How accessible is the place? How long is the wait? How crowded is the bar? How tasty is the food? How speedy is the service? How affordable is the price?

But now, online reviews vouch for credibility. Is the place sketchy? Is the experience worth our time and money? Do people even go there anymore? Are there better dining options available right down the street?

The lesson is, customers value context before content.

Before you start adding bacon to every item on the menu, start by changing the soft tissue about what you make, how you deliver it and where you promote it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to Write Your Brand Manifesto

If you want to start a movement, you have to write a manifesto.

A short, concise, inspiring declaration, written in your brand’s trademark language, that gives your values a voice, becomes a powerful social object and paints a compelling, detailed picture of the desired future you want people to join you in creating.

Once you put that on wax, everything changes.

Holstee never intended for their manifesto to go viral, become an iconic example of office art and inspire millions of people around the world to claim a mindful and purposeful existence. The owners of the company just wanted to sit down and create a cool, visual reminder of what they live for, what they want from life and why they go into work everyday.

But because of this document, this bloody, heartfelt statement that connected and infected so many of us, their brand became more followable, their organization became more joinable, their philosophy became more spreadable and, best yet, their bottom line became more profitable.
And yet, there are still organizations out there who haven’t written their manifesto yet. Not because they don’t care, but because they don’t know where to begin.

Fortunately, this happens to be my superpower.

I might not be able to change a flat, but I will melt your mind with my skills as a strategist. Ask anyone who’s spent more than five minutes with me, and they will testify to my talents as a noticer, translator, interpreter, wordsmith, synthesizer, imaginator and visionary.

Not because it’s my job, not because it’s my calling, but because this is who I am.

This is what I do.

If your organization wants help crafting your manifesto, email me. Write the word “manifesto” in the subject line, and I’ll ping you back with the one and only question you need to ask yourself to get started.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Digital Used To Be A Thing, Now It Flows Through All Things

My from POKE said it best:

“Digital used to be a thing, now it flows through all things.”

Every product is a media experience, every idea has interactivity built into it, every business is an online business, every company is a technology company, every website is a broadcast platform, every blog is a distribution channel, every brand is a media concern, every phone is a computer, every customer is a reporter, every program is an app and every device has a web connection.

The implications of this trend are massive, from the shift in the balance of power to the elimination of barriers to entry to the criminally low cost of doing business.

But what excites me most about the digital revolution is, is that for those of us who know how to talk to people with our mouths, for those of us who remember why it matters to show up in person, for those of us who build things with our hands that people can touch, and for those of us who are endowed with human interaction as their superpower, analog is more important than ever.

Face to face isn’t making a comeback, it’s already here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

What New Social Norm Is Your Company Creating?

Every company wants to create a new social norm.

They want to change the way people do something, for better and for always.

Wii’s groundbreaking console didn’t just look cool, it got people up off the sofa, broke down the walls that separated players and spectators and turned a video game into a communication tool that family members, both young and old, could socialize around, instead of disappearing into their digital worlds in a state of separate togetherness.

To do this, to create a social norm, to make a lasting impression with something of cultural meaning above and beyond the product, there are several questions worth asking at the onset of a project:

1. How can we approach an industry in an entirely new way? 

2. How does our idea take an activity to a scale never before achieved? 
3. How does our work revolutionize the way people do or think about something?  
4. How do we instill new habits in people and align our brand with them? 
5. What if we gave people access to ownership instead of ownership itself? 
6. What idea, that people are convinced is dead, can we bring back to life? 
7. What used to be impossible that we can make easier for people?

Focus on that, and you won’t just make money, you might just make history.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tricking Customers Into Buying Your Product

Tricking is a shortcut that erodes trust and stains your industry.

And it’s everywhere.

Creators are tricking people into consuming their content. Movie trailers intercut dialogue from different scenes, use music that isn’t on the soundtrack and show action sequences that don’t make the final cut. But by the time you’ve paid for and watched the film, it’s too late.

Companies are tricking customers into buying. Credit cards lead you to believe certain services are free and mandatory. And you end up paying for costly, unnecessary amenities like payment protection and credit monitoring. But by the time you’ve shelled out for the hidden fees, it’s too late.

Websites are tricking users into oversharing. Applications coerce you into signing misleading agreements, bypassing privacy settings and revealing personal information. And before you know it, they’re tracking and predicting your every move. But by the time you’ve updated your status, it’s too late.

What’s scary is, the culprits of this trickery aren’t the typical scammers, spammers and hacks. 

Nigerian Prince Emeka Umtoku? I expect trickery from him.

These examples come from real companies. Big ones. Public ones.

That’s their strategy for reaching you – a digital ruse.

The irony is, if you have to trick customers into buying, using, viewing or sharing your product; you don’t deserve to be selling it in the first place.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Make People Miss You In Their Past

“Where has this place been my whole life?”

That’s the ultimate. To make people miss you in their past. To deliver such an amazing experience, such a phenomenal product, that not only do they rave and regale and recommend you to the world, they regret not meeting you sooner. They can’t believe they’re just now finding out about you.

Finally, a company who gets it. A company who gets them.

Because prior to today, interacting with an company who does what you do, has been a chore at best and a nightmare at worst. Certainly not something people could enjoy or, god forbid, look forward to.

But now that they’ve found you, they may never leave.

Nourish is the perfect example. If you’re a health conscious person with allergies or dietary restrictions, this place is your mecca. Your health food paradise. Your safe zone for not feeling like the freak at the table. Kirstin even wrote a cookbook on this very idea.

If you want to become a regular part of people’s lives, if you want them to make time in their busy schedule to visit the world you’ve created, put yourself in their future by making them miss you in their past.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Capitalize on the Content Others Neglect

Target has offered nearly two thousand design options for its gift cards.

And as a result, they’re more just plain piece of plastic, they’re symbols of smart design, badges of technological innovation, high touch collector’s items, engaging social objects, artifacts of the holiday season, collaborative employee projects, exemplars of corporate sustainability, patented parts of the company brand, even some cards are presents in themselves, offering the shoppers entertainment, candy, games, sound, interactivity and personalized messages.

Not to mention, the cards have no expiration dates or finance charges.


Target sees value in the discarded. No pun intended. They capitalize on the content others neglect, make the mundane memorable, spot opportunities overlooked by their rivals, fall in love with what other companies are turned off by, specialize in an experience most companies take for granted, and fueled by the very things most companies fear, they make something cool that engages the world.

I wonder how you could swipe that idea for your organization.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What's Your Brand's Baker's Dozen?

It started out as an insurance policy.

By adding one additional cookie to the order, bakers protected themselves against accidentally short weighting customers, paying severe government fines, losing a hand to an axe, having an ear nailed to their shop door and becoming known around town as a dishonest businessman.

Of course, that was seven hundred years ago.

Now they call it a baker’s dozen because they care.

Because that one extra cookie, that one purposeful, tactile expression of effort, which only rounds out to about eight percent extra dough, is worth giving away to the customer as a thank you for spending their dough on the first twelve.

What’s your brand's baker’s dozen? What meaningful, memorable and meditated bonus do you offer at the end of every transaction?

It doesn’t have to be about labor and time, just intention and attention.

That’s the only insurance policy your brand needs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Micro Business is the New Small Business

We are seeing the death of traditional career paths.

Now, micro business is the new small business.

Instead building a hulking beast of an enterprise, we start by building something simple, like an app or a website or a piece of software. Then, instead of searching for some magical distribution channel, we just ship it. We make it available, and other people come and get it. Then, if it takes off, if we amass enough attention and permission and momentum, we build the actual business around those assets with a small core team serving tons of users, customers and co-creators. And if we’re lucky, make some money and change the world.

Pretty sweet model.

Simple. Fast. Cheap. Low risk. No employees. No permission. No debt. Home based. Completely manageable. Tons of fun. And one amazing learning experience.

Where do we sign?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How Bonobos Apparel Converts Interaction to Income

The best way to get more business from your customers is by intelligently interacting with them.

For example, one fourth of all Bonobos customer service is publicized.

Consider the implications of this.

First, it multiples their reach. Exponentially more people can experience and benefit from a single act of service. Even if they’re not customers. Second, it creates an apparatus of accountability. Each interaction requires thoughtful consideration on the behalf of the employees. Even if they’re engaging with critics. Third, it builds their listening platform. Direct engagement with customers leaves behind a trail of potentially valuable data. Even if they’re just saying hello. And fourth, it delivers social proof. Potential customers see their amazing service in action. Even if they know nothing about the product yet.

It’s the perfect storm.

Combine amazing customer service with public social media and you’ve got a winning equation for converting interactions into income.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Listen Loud, Wait Long, Think Hard, Speak Last

Synthesizing is an underrated talent.

If you can become known as someone who boils down complex ideas to a bare, yet highly memorable minimum, creates labels for things that make it faster to classify and understand what’s going on, packages truths as meaningful concrete nuggets that give meaning to human experiences, delivers micro masterpieces of clarity and brevity to help others structure and interpret reality, helps people make sense of life and bring order to a world that is confusing and scary, and someone who feels and says what most people can’t express for themselves, if you can be that person, your voice will be requested in many places.

The hard part is, it is the synthesizer who listens the loudest, waits the longest, thinks the hardest and speaks the latest.

Are you up to the challenge?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Just Talk Like People Talk

Purpose is easy to over complicate.

Organizations spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours creating purpose statements full of expensive, opaque, altruistic, exaggerated jumbles of corporate buzzwords that, in the end, mean nothing and inspire nobody.

When the reality is, purpose is best stated when it’s simple, specific and meaningful to the people who matter most. That’s enough.

We make our clients look like heroes. We bring fun to the daily chore of being a consumer. We positively ruin the rest of the software world for people. We entertain society by using our client’s products. We help users become better at things they care about. We make patients feel less alone in their misery. We buy other company’s mistakes. We build a circle of trust through a circus of pranks.

Don’t make it any harder than it already is.

Just talk like people talk.

Because when you organize your company around a clear idea of how you plan to change the world for the better, you will create a center of gravity, a heart, a reason to be, that draws employees, partners, and customers toward it.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What Your Company Outsourced Its Policies?

Most company policies coincidentally favor the company.

Instead of respecting customers, they’re more about making excuses, creating insurance, inhibiting creativity, controlling costs, avoiding accountability, building deniability, protecting executive egos, appeasing shareholders and covering corporate asses.

But what if, once a year, companies held an open forum for customers to submit ideas for new company policies? What if, instead of operating solely inside their own heads, organizations let the people who know their product best (and the problems thereof) to shed light on smarter ways of doing business?

Hell, companies outsource everything else. Why stop there?

Consider the implications of letting customers design your policies:

Ownership. People want to put their fingerprints on the things they love. If customers had a real role in shaping the way they were treated, loyalty would skyrocket.

Engagement. Social media isn’t a sales tool, it’s a hearing aid. If customers could voice their ideas through those listening platforms, brand engagement would skyrocket.

Loyalty. When you help paint a fence, you don’t stand mute while punks spray graffiti. If customers had a greater stake in the company’s architecture, belonging would skyrocket.

Reputation. Flexibility is a policy worth having. If customers saw that the company had a disposable mindset, goodwill would skyrocket.

Look, policies suck. And everyone knows it. Especially the customers.

But if companies outsourced that function to the people who matter most, perhaps there would be less friction in their daily interactions.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Client Service? Try a Little Amnesia

If you can help the client forget she’s a client, everybody wins.

Try a few of these.

Instead of applying your rigid methodology, just sit down, look people in the eye ask them what they want to do, and what would make them happy.

Instead of bludgeoning people with facts and theories, just talk like people talk, listen as loudly as you can, and remember that they’re human just like you.

Instead of breathing deep sighs that make people feel like an inconvenience, make the daily chore of being a client more fun.

Instead of trying to minimize call time, hold a contest to see who can interact with clients on the phone for the longest duration.

Instead of waiting for permission to warm up to each other, just cut the crap and connect on a personal level that’s unrelated to business.

Client service? Try a little amnesia.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What Do You Make People Believe In Again?

The problem is, they did not come away believers.

When your customers finally finish the transaction, sign off, shut down, wrap up, peace out, pay the check, walk out the door and go back to their busy lives, here's powerful question worth asking:

What did the experience you offer make people believe in again?

What did your company restore people’s faith in? What idea, that customers were convinced was dead, did your brand bring back to life? What experience, that people avoided as a badge of honor, are they now obsessed with? What feeling, that people had lost contact with, did you reignite inside of them? What possibility, that people had long since given up on, did you made real once again?

Search a few review sites, and you’ll find this question answered in spades.

A tortured soul who goes to hypnotherapy believes in herself again. A jaded couple who takes a romantic excursion believes in romance again. A cynical guest who stays at a bed and breakfast believes in the service industry again. A terminated employee who flawlessly relocates across the country believes in humanity again. A cooking snob who dines at an amazing restaurant believes in eating out again.

Sell that.

Because when people believe, it’s really hard to leave.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Work Without Clarity, Isn't

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker, author, dad, yogi, guitarist and good friend of mine. The ideas in this post are drawn from his most recent book, The Commitment Engine.

* * * *  

Strategy, purpose, and passion are integral to success, but none of them really matter without clarity.

Clarity is the strong and unwavering sense that our daily choices are grounded in an authentic sense of purpose. Clarity is how we create a sketch of something worth asking others to complete. Clarity forces us to form the right questions.

Without clarity everything we do is either an attempt to gain it or a stab at the hope that we are moving in the right direction.

Almost every business I’ve ever worked with, including my own, struggles with this idea. But, until we are really clear and inspired by why we do what we do, whom we do it for and how to do it with complete and utter honesty, little else matters.

Clarity does not emerge by simply switching on some beacon in hopes of throwing a clear and guiding light. It comes when we discover a rusted but sturdy lamp in the basement of an old house. Then, only through careful tinkering and polishing this lamp begins to cast a flicker of light.

And, as we continue to polish and tinker, something truly brilliant begins to evolve.

With clarity comes control. With clarity comes grace. With clarity comes joy.

Finding and keeping clarity takes work. It takes an unbending willingness to see things for what they really are. To filter decisions based on what might be best for others. To understand how to create the products and services our customers really need.

Clarity is both a feeling and a direction. It can be experienced and seen. It is at the same time perfect simplicity and obvious complexity. Clarity inspires us and those
around us.

But what is it exactly?

Clarity is turning purpose to profit, leading with stories, asking what to leave out, meeting the whole person, amplifying without hype, doing more with less, embracing the truth, anticipating needs, measuring one perfect thing, forming decisions out of beliefs and making a potent brand promise.

Clarity is the most important idea in any business.

Thanks John.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

What Does Your Brand Take Out of the Equation for Customers?

Smart companies take something out of the equation for people.

Not immeasurable elements like friction, time, energy, work, risk, taboo, fear, embarrassment, inconvenience, complexity, stress, guesswork, legwork, hassle, frustration, pain and mystery.

They actually delete something measurable, visible and tangible. Something annoying and big enough that customers wouldn’t just notice if it were gone, but would be delighted to find out it’s gone, excited to tell people it’s gone, and inspired to come back, again and again, just for the experience of not have to deal with it.
What if your bank took deposit envelopes out of the equation? What if your restaurant took ordering out of the equation? What if your store took waiting in line out of the equation? What if your product took instruction manuals out of the equation? What if your software took installation out of the equation?

Instead of wasting resources to marginally improve something that customers are always going to hate anyway, why not scrap it from the process entirely, then spend your money bragging about how you’re the only company around who doesn’t have it?

Cut through the tradition that’s getting in the way of the product. 

Break a few rules that don't exist.

Shatter a cultural taboo and send some shockwaves through society.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Create Social Meaning Above and Beyond Your Product

Interaction is the agent of human decision.

If someone decides to pay attention to, press the like button for, buy something from, become a follower of, or tell others about your brand, it’s likely because of an interaction they had with another human being.

Namely, not you.

Real marketing isn’t about what you do to people, it’s about what you enable people to do each other. It’s about creating social meaning above and beyond your product or service.

If your brand is the instrument that connects the disconnected, gets them joyfully interacting with each other, persuading each other to step out on the dance floor, influencing each other on your behalf, telling each other about what you do, and ultimately treating each other as the final authority of trust, you’re the hero.

Because it’s not who you know. It’s not who knows you. It’s whose life is better connected to other people because they know you.

I wonder what would happen if, in addition to selling a great product, your brand helped satisfy the underlying social need within each of us to belong.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Make Your Product a Stage for Customers to Stand On

It’s not a product, it’s a platform.

When your brand builds something that makes people famous, recognized and part of something cool that matters to them, they will love you forever.

Threadless is the perfect example. They reward their designers with significant financial prizes, public kudos and coveted community awards. And as a result, their users are the most engaged in the world, their shirts are the most amazing in the world and their brand is the most beloved in the world.

How is your product a stage for customers to stand on?

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Skyrocket the Number of People Aching to Stay

The freemium model is finally working.

Give the product away to your tribe for free, let them use it until they’re blue in the face, then, once they realize the value of the product – and the increasingly important role it plays in their lives – you make money via micro transactions along the way like upgrades, paid subscriptions, cheat codes, level walkthoughs, feature unlocks, removing ad content, premium versions, more space, complementary products, technical support and connecting lonely users at live events.

Piece of cake.

But first, it all starts with making the free product great enough that everybody will take it and use it forever. That’s the big secret of technology, it’s not about what the product can do, but how enjoyable it is to use.

Because if you can make something people enjoy using, they’ll use it more. And once you skyrocket the number of people aching to stay, eventually, enough of those people will be willing to to pay.

In the words of Phil Libin, “The easiest way to get a million people to pay for non scarcity product is to make a hundred million people fall in love with it.”

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Art of Perspective, Part 3

Information used to have a supply and demand issue.

But now that it’s free, ubiquitous and accessible, its value has plummeted. If you're a generalist, your competitors are Google and Wikipedia.

If you want move people’s eyebrows and catapult their thinking into profitable new directions, your job is to deliver perspective.

Here are my latest examples. Don't forget to read part two!

Las Vegas wasn’t built on winners. Are you smart enough to see the evidence when the odds are stacked against you?

Howard Schultz visited five hundred espresso bars in Italy. Are you willing to out research the competition?

The founder of JetBlue flew his own airline at least once a week and blogged about his experience. Are you willing to be your own customer?

Liverpool had a lot of good bands. Have you accepted the face that talent isn’t as important as timing?

Obama’s speech had four times as many tweets per minute as Romney’s. Is your brand betting against the web by not believing in social media?

Facebook pays programmers thousands of dollars to hack into their site. What will you invest to uncover your company’s vulnerabilities?

Chew on that.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

If I Would Have Tried, It Wouldn't Have Happened

The weird thing about the web is, nothing happens if we try.

Only when our guard is down, when our intentions are neutral and when we’re operating out of our purest, most instinctual nature, do we see the greatest results.

Last year, I wrote my manifesto.

I’ve never worked harder on anything in my life. From researching to drafting to writing to editing to marketing, the amount of sweat that went into that project dwarfed anything I’d done before.

And when it was done, I couldn’t have been prouder. The project challenged my creativity as a human, exploded my growth as a writer and reconnected me to my idealistic roots that had long since been buried under the burden of business obligations.

Good for me, I thought.

So I decided to publish it.

Not for money. Not for attention. Not to prove anything. And not to make my way to the top of some bullshit bestseller list.

Just because.

And to my delight, the manifesto blew up. It gained tons of traction, got insane amounts of traffic and even won a few awards. Apparently, more than any other book, speech, video or interview I’d published in the past, there was something about this particular piece of work that hit a nerve.

Which is interesting to me.

Because if I would have tried, it wouldn’t have happened.