This essay was written by Brandon Monk.
“I’m interested in this sort of weird, people who have chosen to avoid conforming to the masses, at least in some parts of their lives.” We Are All Weird The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance. Amazonencore, 2011. Kindle.
We Are All Weird reminds me of the attitude you see in places like Austin and San Francisco where the goal’s to be just a little more weird or weird in a little different way. Austin, TX feels weird. Some stores embrace the idea and sell this “weirdness” by planting the slogan on tie dyed T-shirts. Conformity in those places requires you to be weird. This goes on in high schools where kids try to stand out and find their own way in life. Students try to develop their own style. Occasionally, someone would go off with an older brother to a concert and come back with a particular new style dress or hair. As adults, we stop this behavior or it at least becomes less extreme.
Godin tends to see the battle ground in marketing as those fighting against the status quo with their declarations of weirdness. The weird form smaller groups, he says, and then go out into the world and show everyone how to be weird. Godin argues that we have a greater opportunity to be weird today than ever because we are all rich enough and have enough time and resources to make choices about what we like.
Godin gives an example, Etsy.com, which allows you to buy anything you can dream up, or, if it isn’t there you can sell it yourself. Geography is no longer a limitation. We can be weird and listen to weird music and read weird books and dress in weird ways and even eat weird food without having weird stores in our neighborhood.
I say, whether you embrace it in your outward appearance or not, embrace it somewhere deep inside. Read something NOT on the best sellers list and bring it to the table in a discussion. You might inspire the entire group toward a new perspective.
Check-out the “weird” tag on Goodreads if your looking for something truly weird suggestions.