Sometimes it is that easy.
Marc Andreessen’s blog has been making waves all over the internet. Which marks the second time in 6 months that tech bloggers have been played and manipulated into a frenzy (Tim Ferriss being the first) Don’t get me wrong, the blog is astoundingly good and Andreessen is an all-start–he literally invented the world-wide-web. It is the way he went about launching his blog that is so indicative of his creative and innovative way of addressing situations.
Today, Valleywag wrote that Marc was “late to the blogging game and caught in the throes of newbie enthusiasm..” That is a profound misread of the situation. Clearly, Marc decided to start a blog 6-12 months ago and then spent that intermediate time coming up with a plethora of stellar posts. He stocked up on digg worth and potentially viral posts, so when he launched he’d have a quiver of good content. While the rest of us try to come up with a few solid posts a week, Marc is sitting back and uploading what he already wrote. But to the unthinking reader: “This guy is a fucking genius.” Day after day, he is knocking them out of the park. And now he’s one of the most respected bloggers on the net…after a month of being online.
The point is that, yes it really is that easy. Yes, the rest of the world really is stuck in a box. I remember a year or so ago I had an idea for a business venture and I pitched it to a friend. His response was “If your idea is as good as it sounds, someone would have done it already.” Which of course is absurd, and I did it without him, made a good deal of money and solidified a relationship with someone that continues to benefit me enormously. This is what I mean when I say just email the authors or writers you’d like to meet–everyone thinks it but no one does it. We’re inclined to discount the obvious, which means that the obvious is going unexploited.
Back in the early 90’s, the internet was absurdly elitist and tech nerds were trying to keep it that way. Andreessen came in and tore that all down by making Mosiac and Netscape, the first two GUI web-browsers. Hundreds of people had that idea first–BUT NO ONE DID ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Here with his blog, all he did was a slight perception play that scored enormously. In some ways, thinking intuitively requires an almost counter-intuitive way of looking at the world. Being unabsurd is absurd in its own right. I’ll give you an example, every screenplay you’ll read in Hollywood is in the same font and the same format. Why? Because that’s how it used to be on typewriters and almost a century later no one has bothered to update. Thinking ten steps ahead instead of five puts you on a different plane than almost everyone else. Having some foresight makes success a guarantee instead of a pipedream. What he did, what Tim Ferriss did is ridiculously transparent but no one is bothering to look.
What can you learn from Andreeseen? Thinking outside the box is not only easier than following the status-quo, it’s where the money is. The world seems like it is ruled by the uncreative because they cling to the system, but in reality their power is an illusion. With the slightest exposure to the light of innovation it all comes crumbling down. Trust those instinct, use that uncommon, common sense. Most gatekeepers are full of shit. Trust me.
Can you elaborate or link to something on why you’re saying Tim Ferriss “has massively played and manipulated” tech bloggers? I read the book and personally thought it was pretty good, especially for a “self-help” book. He even preaches some of the ideas you just wrote in this post, like contacting someone that’s your mentor, because everyone wants to but no one actually does. I haven’t looked much at his blog; are you talking about that specifically or am I out of the loop on something here?
When I say that Tim did that I mean it as a slight to the tech community, not to him. He’s a genius. He saw an opportunity and exploited it. He saw how memes propagate on the web–people helping their friends and then went out and made friends with everyone. Without letting anyone know, he went out and become close with every major blog on the internet so then when his book was released, they each felt they were doing him a personal favor by promoting it.
Tim Ferriss looked at the situation like Billy Beane or a Wall-Street trader. He saw the easy in and took it instead of the beaten path. Everyone thought they were writing about a great book, but really they were writing because Tim Ferriss got them to. Tim is absolute star and he made himself one.
Again, the ultimate caveat is that the product has to be stellar. And Tim’s book is exactly this, just as Andreessen’s blog is too.
“Nerds are just too fucking stupid to think outside the box.”
I found this comment to be hilarious, but at the same time wonder if it was needed to be said.
On the screenplay comment, there’s more to it than just how it’s been for a hundred years. I mean, that’s how it started, but it works. The way it is now, a page equals roughly a minute of screen time… changing the font would mess up that equation.
Also, if you’re an agent/producer/whoever reading twenty-thirty scripts a day, wouldn’t some sort of consistency be a nice thing? It’s like teachers telling you to write in blue or black ink, because if anyone can write in whatever color they want, people start writing in pink bubbly ink, and it all goes to shit.
1) No one is reading 30 scripts a day.
2) It works in the sense that everything in Hollywood works–“that’s how we’ve always done it.” The idea that skinny type-writer font is the most appealing to the eyes is absurd. And would people really have that hard of a time adjusting to a new ratio?
Scripts are passed around and read first for their literary quality. The format should accommodate that first and foremost.
Again, who the fuck cares about the equation? How’s sticking to the equation sufficient justification coming from an industry that leaves an estimates 60% percent of the market on the table, continually pays more money for smaller results, produces worse and worse product, refuses to update and doesn’t even understand its own business? Fuck the equation, it’s not working.