Hugh’s story reads a lot like a web 2.0 fairytale. He started writing cartoons on the back of business cards a long time ago. All of a sudden, today, he’s a huge blogger and has a lot of followers. And by “all of a sudden” I mean that it took about ten years. Anyway, he has an eclectic array of vocational pieces in his tool belt. He now is an author of a big seller, he does more “traditional” art and sells it online, he does marketing consulting, he’s worked for Microsoft as such, he’s still working on a Stormhoek wine project, etc. My guess is he has a lot more of “etc.” (in fact, using “etc.” erroneously is a large writing idiosyncrasy of his I’ve picked up on.)
Anyhoo, the reason I bought and read his book (used on Amazon for $7) is because I like his blog. I like his voice and his loosely structured, sporadic writing. It translates well to his book.
Creativity is a really volatile and misunderstood thing. By misunderstood, I mean that no one truly understands it, not that there is a good explanation people just aren’t yet clued into. Everybody ticks differently and so what makes me creative and you creative aren’t necessarily one and the same. But creativity is very important. It’s why Redmarketer exists. I still get a lot of shit about branding a website and creating a logo from people. Yet, it’s a creative outlet. An outlet for me to vent thoughts and ideas and anything I’m digging at that particular point in time. This site was built because of inspiration from people like Hugh that understand the value in slowly building something over the long haul. And, yes, marketing yourself.
Back to the book. Hugh points out, candidly, some very refreshing points on creativity, life in the advertising business as well as life in the cube. With a bunch of funny cartoons intermingled. One such point (and probably the most important) is that a good idea is going to be rejected by almost everyone. Your ideas, good and bad (but especially good) have the potential to really change things in a social construct; i.e. your boss, peers and friends. They may well not like your idea, but they also are likely to subconsciously avoid the potential change your idea represents. It’s not that they want to, it’s just human nature.
You could read this book in less than two hours. It’s EXTREMELY light, but it’s also very enjoyable and would be a good refresher from your typical business fare. Recommended.