does your schtick have a good creation myth? if not, maybe it needs one?

1. Silicon Valley was born in 1939, when Messieurs Hewlett & Packard started their company in a small garage in Paulo Alto.

2. In his book, “Delivering Happiness”, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh speaks of  in great length about “The Loft”, a place where all his friends used to hang out and party, and how this sense of “meaningful gathering” went on to inform the core values of his now-famous shoe company.

3. A very dated-looking photograph from 1978. Eleven young, goofy-looking techies. They turn out to be the founding members of Microsoft, including Bill Gates.

4. Michael Dell founding his computer empire in his dorm room at the University of Texas.

5. Ben & Jerry’s started making ice cream in a converted gas station in Vermont.

6. The business guru, Tom Peters often writes about how his time as a young man serving in the US Navy helped evolve his now-famous worldview.

7. Rock star physicists, Brian Cox talks passionately about the Big Bang Theory.

8. How a despondent, burned-out, second-rate advertising copywriter FINALLY got his groove when he started drawing cartoons on the back of business cards.

9. The Beatles playing those early gigs at The Cavern Club in Liverpool.

10. The famous tech blogger, Robert Scoble talking about his job working in a discount camera store, back when he was a kid.

11. How a bunch of young, angry social misfits start a small nightclub, the Cabaret Voltaire, in 1916 Zurich [at the height of World War One] and in the process invent Dada, one of the 20th Century’s most influential art movements.

12. Abe Lincoln was born in a log cabin.

So… What do these all have in common?

They’re all Creation Myths. That’s right; just like The Garden of Eden.

We humans seem to need them, somehow. They manage to articulate who we really are, somehow. The help explain our core values, somehow.

And for whatever reason, REALLY successful people are even more likely to have them, even more likely to need them, somehow.

Does your schtick have a good creation myth? If not, maybe it needs one?

Think about it.

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark