How Niche Became The New Normal With Chris Brogan

The Freaks Shall Inherit The EarthThis article was originally published on partner site The Intelligent Review in August 2014 before being transferred over to The New Idealist site in July 2015.

Leading Social Media Entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author Chris Brogan built his own successful consultancy company with a long list of big name clients including Disney, Microsoft, Coke, Pepsico, Google and Sony USA by ‘thinking outside of the box’. TheIntelligentReview spoke to the talented marketer and author to find out more about his intriguingly-titled new book ‘The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits, and World Dominators’.

What does being a ‘freak’ mean to you?

Someone who has a passion for doing business their way with the types of people they like to do it with and in the manner that’s of benefit to the people involved.

Quality and the obsession with delivering a good experience rule out above everything else.

Your book explores the theme that unconventiality will be the winner in the new economy – how did you arrive at this approach?  

In a world where there’s Amazon and Wal-Mart and all these other very large many-to-many kinds of consumptions, the only other possible area where there could be some opportunities is in serving small communities of value where you don’t have to be everything to everyone.

You could either play for the masses or you could play for the thousand or ten-thousand who want what you have to offer.

You write about how ‘disruption has become the norm in business’. Why is a disruptive approach important to innovation and business?

It seems that there’s never going to be any solid ground again…if we construct a business to presume any kind of constants then we’re just looking for trouble.

What’s great about it is that it allows for creative or artistic types of people who want to serve a smaller niche to really connect and do something very special.

The cover of your book mentions that this is a ‘business playbook for everyone out there who simply doesn’t fit in’. Does that fit with your experience of employment?

Absolutely. I worked for a local telephone utility [company]…and I have often been the square peg in the round hole.

I would say that the system around me and others [of] being told ‘we must fit in’ [is breaking down] and now we have this great opportunity to work in our way and not have to shave off those rough edges.

The things that made us a little different might now be somewhat praised.

What are the key points that you would like to get across to people who are reading this book who are thinking of setting up their own business?

Have a better science of defining your own success. It’s amazing how many people operate with no real understanding of what they consider their own success to look like. They may or may not be heading towards those goals or they may be accidently moving far away from where their success could go.

Without solid skills and a framework to take care of your differentness and weirdness and make it useful to others you’ll still run into the same problems you’ve always had so that’s pretty important.

I suppose finally, I tell people to build their own media empire because this is something that is quite different to before. Before we had to wait to get into whatever particular paper would have us and prey that the Guardian would write us up or something.

Now we can make our own media and we can connect to people directly through blogs, through podcasts, through video.

What do you hope to achieve with this book?

Really, I want people to find it and know that they can be exactly who they want.

The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth is published by Wiley and available now.

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