There’s no doubt we live in serious times. The economy is awful, millions out of work…more bad things going on than you can shake a stick at. And business is generally a very serious topic as well – try reading a book on lean manufacturing, business strategy or leadership and see how many times you smile.
I get it – people’s lives are at stake, bad things could happen, life needs to be taken seriously…but I think we’ve gone too far. If you want to make a point, if you want to get someone’s attention, then being deadly serious all the time isn’t going to get you very far. It gets lost in the noise and generally isn’t going to get talked about.
On the other hand, look at the traction that a really funny comment on twitter might get. Here’s a list of the Top 25 funniest tweets about the VP debate last week. Not only were these seen by millions of people during the event, but they were also covered by major media outlets and continue to be shared days afterwards. Obviously not changing the world, but they are making a point (and being heard).
Another great example of making a point through humor (satire in this case) is Stephen Colbert. David Gregory from NBC’s Meet The Press did an interview with him this past week where he talks about his success in making serious points with humor.
A sense of humor can cut through the noise. Being funny gets talked about and shared. People who ‘get you’ will appreciate your style…although people who don’t get you will likely be annoyed or offended by your humor. In any event in today’s deadly serious world, you would benefit from lightening up a bit.
Having said that, most of us aren’t all that funny. The good news is you don’t need to try to develop your stand-up skills (unless you are already legitimately funny). You can leverage all sorts of content that’s already out there. You can find lots of funny pictures on Flickr (although be careful about copyrights). There are loads of sites with funny quotes on all sorts of topics…and if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, Youtube can be an amazing source of all sorts of stuff.
I have a client who started sending out a monthly business cartoon as her newsletter. Her business focuses on some pretty dry financial topics (cash flow, factoring, etc.) and the cartoons are a fun way to make a point. She’s licensing from a local cartoonist and for a small cost she’s getting a great response and standing out from her competition.
What could you do to lighten up? What’s funny about your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts – share them in the comments below.
We’re at that time of year when the winter blah really sets in (I’m sure February is the longest month of the year!). We’ve at least had a couple of days that weren’t gray, but it’s certainly been looking more like Seattle then Kansas City.
It’s cold outside – so here are 5 diversions on your computer that might help brighten your day up. Shake it off, have some fun and check out some cool stuff (some with a local tie)!
1. Amazing Shot!
You’ve probably seen this sometime in the last few days – it’s been all over TV and the internet, but in case you missed it – you need to check out the vide of the Olathe Northwest Girls Basketball coach who’s getting set up for a prank. The students are challenging him to shoot a 1/2 court shot…blindfolded and if he makes it he wins Final Four tickets. The prank is that the students are going to cheer wildly when he shoots to make him believe he hit it.
The drawback to their plan? He actually hits the shot! It’s unbelievable and a lot of fun to watch.
It’s a Friday afternoon and I thought I would share 3 fun and interesting, but totally unrelated things. The internet is an amazing resource…what is it not capable of?
Item #1 – Accidental Innovation
Most of the time you think about inventors laboring away in the lab, spending years coming up with great ideas and products. However for a lot of products, the innovation actually comes about accidentally.
You may have heard the story about Post-its as an accidental creation at 3M, but did you know that Corn Flakes were totally an accident discovered by the Kellogg brothers in the late 1800s?
Or that the x-ray was discovered accidentally when a fluorescent screen unexpectedly started glowing during an unrelated experiment?
The fun folks over at Business Pundit have pulled together an article on popular products that were invented by accident – you can see it here at the unique origins of 25 popular products!
Item #2 – Unbelievable Photos!
I’m a big fan of photography and the amazing things you can do with Photoshop, but it’s even more amazing to find untouched photos that are unbelievable.
Finally, if you haven’t heard about Google Wave, you’re hearing about it now and you’ll be hearing a lot more in the next couple of months. The quick explanation of Google Wave is that it’s a new platform / technology / application that represents what email would be if it were invented today instead of 40 years ago – bringing in all of the real-time collaboration and sharing that people are using in Social Media applications everywhere else.
Confused? Me too – but this video might help you make sense of it (and it’s only 2 minutes long!).