Hewlett Packard on gapingvoid: It’s about cybersecurity.

Hewlett Packard is kicking off its cybersecurity conference today, HP Protect 2011, and they kindly hired gapingvoid to design some posters for them.

Basically, I wanted to draw something kinda cool n’ fun, something that computer security people wouldn’t mind taking back home and hanging on their office walls.

To the uneducated, the cartoon might seem trivial, but actually, it’s not. Like Lennie Bruce famously said, “Humor is serious business”.

Fred Wilson is right, we are indeed in the middle of a major, long-term, global trasformation, and Obama (or anybody else who wants his job) is NOT, REPEAT NOT going to save us.

So what IS going to save us? The SAME DAMN THING that has ALWAYS saved us:

That’s right. The Play Ethic. Creativity. All that good stuff Sir Ken talks about. All that good stuff that gapingvoid hopefully represents.

All serious work begins with serious play first. AND NOT the night before, but FIRST thing in the morning.You think Jony Ives works for a living? Hell, no, he plays for a living. So do I. So do my friends, Charles HopeSeth Godin and others like us.

And YES, you can bring that sense of play anywhere- to a conference on cybersecurity, for example. Don’t get me wrong; cybersecurity is also serious business. Our collective safety and our livelihoods as citizens depend on it, and companies like HP work to help protect our culture’s critical infrastructure systems and generally keep us out of trouble.

It’s a nasty, dangerous world out there, after all…

That being said, security nerds are also people who like to play and get paid for it, more than most. They like to have FUN, at conferences and anywhere else, of course they do. Who says the good guys cannot be sweaty and unshaven? News to me. To PLAY means to HACK something. Hacking is INHERENTLY playful. Of course it frickin’ is.

[Note to non-Nerds: the reason that nerds don’t spend a lot of time on their personal appearance is because they’d rather spend their brief time here on Earth, working on something that actually matters to them, not spend it on something that matters to the usual crowd of clueless, superficial, hipster knuckleheads.]

Thanks to Hewlett Packard for giving gapingvoid the opportunity to live in a place it hasn’t yet i.e. the complex and mysterious world of cybersecurity i.e. the world where the hackers live and thrive happily. It’s good to know that some of them are on our side. So far, it’s been a blast. Rock on.

[Bonus Link: The ever-brilliant Ben Hammersley gave a great talk to a bunch of high-level UK cybersecurity nerds recently. A wonderful read.]

[The “Hire Hugh” page etc.]

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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
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