Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hard to Ignore

I am not a huge business book reader. I have read what would be considered required reading for my profession, most notably Crossing the Chasm. I enjoyed Gladwell's The Tipping Point. I slugged my way through the follow-up Blink. I have a few others that I thought were insightful and enlightening. Generally, however, I am a straight up fiction kind of girl.

This summer, I made an exception and lifted my self-imposed moratorium on business books to read Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod. I have referenced Hugh before when I talked about blog posts. I feature his cartoon feed here on this blog. Hugh is an artist, a blogger, an author and I am a passionate (albeit quiet) groupie.

I was first hooked on Hugh when I read a series of posts he wrote on being creative on his blog Gaping Void. In many ways, he writes a lot of common sense. But the funny thing about common sense is that it can take on new and enlightened meanings when told by another perspective. Especially when that perspective is uncompromising in its belief and funny.

I picked up Ignore Everybody on the first day it was available in Canada. (I had pestered Hugh a little on Twitter about why it wasn't available for pre-ordering and purchase on the same time table as the US.) I devoured it in 3 days. As a fan of the blog, much of the book was familiar reading. I quite enjoyed how he took his creative manifesto on the blog and turned it into more of a guide book. I was also quite pleased that he lost none of his irreverence which is plain to see by the business card cartoons he chose. Although some may argue that Ignore Everybody is good for people who want to become creative professionals (ie. artists, designers, etc.), this is a good book for just about anybody who is looking for inspiration, to get over a hump or just to get some new perspective.

My personal favourite cartoon is "If you talked to people the way advertising talks to people, they'd punch you in the face". You can see it here. If that isn't a rallying cry for marketers and business people alike, I don't know what is.

Hugh has said he is working on his next book "Evil Plans", which is also an excellent cartoon, and I can't wait. Thankfully, his observations, philosophy and humour is still available to me day to day on the blog.

Ignore Everybody
Hugh MacLeod


David Everitt-Carlson said... [Reply to comment]

Hugh and I met in 89 having joined Leo Burnett in Chicago on the same day. He was doing the cartoons then - 20 years ago and had finally seen them find their own light. That should be inspiration enough for anyone. Mz final dazs at Burnett are documented here.