Cultish Creative Weekly (5/11/2024)

My Hot Ones essay, how to be more confident, and a whole lot of

Cultish Creative Weekly (5/11/2024)

If you only read one longer piece this weekend, Epsilon Theory just published my essay, “How to Win at Story: Conan’s Hot Ones Masterclass.” It’s got 10 lessons for understanding narrative in life, career, and even YouTube shows. In a world that feels so short on hope lately, the episode’s 27-minute performance wasn’t one of the greatest examples of how cooperation beats competition I’ve ever seen. 

And if you only listen/watch two (am I pushing it? I’ll push it) things this weekend…

Grace Nikae (marketing expert/TikTok star/child prodigy pianist) and Peter Atwater (author on sentiment in decision-making/college professor/financial industry consultant extraordinaire) were on Just Press Record. If the episode with Ben Hunt and Paul Millerd was all about being willing to live out the scripts we want to in our lives, this one is about how we feel while we do it. Peter talks about why his daughter pointing out he was “halfway to 90!” at his 45th birthday took him from Wall Street to leading classrooms, and Grace shares what it was like to see a Rachmaninov score at age 8, and how it helped shape a “get comfortable with the discomfort” practice she still uses today. Just, wow. 

On Breaking News, we looked at one of the biggest stories that can’t seem to find any media coverage (this is a doozy given the numbers involved - multiple billions of dollars?!), the addition of gambling to Dave and Buster’s (financial nihilism, put your quarter up!), the reality of higher wages (it’s part good, part bad, and very real!), what to make of products sold to you by paid-conference presenters (avoid!), and I go way into a song dissection of “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” because it’s such a good story. 

In other areas too - 

The PNL for a Purpose playlist was a hit, and the donations are still open. 

We took a deeper look at status and drama triangles, which was sort of cutting-room floor material from the Conan piece FYI, and applied some of the logic to Kendrick/Drake, Taylor/Olivia, and even student protestors/colleges in “Don’t Punch Down.”

An old job made me write an elevator pitch years ago. I’m transforming it from therapy to an opinion in “Elevator Pitches.” It’s not a cynical take, but it is a critical take. 

We need more story-worthy business builders. Oh, and less boring jargon. Fun jargon is still ok, like “Less Lindy Effect, More Triple Lindy” which is a Rodney Dangerfield joke at least somebody will get. 

Freya India’s writing about the youths cuts to my heart and my head in a profound way. Her article on being nostalgic for a time or a place one has ever known, and applying it to demography is so interesting. Pair this with anything on what’s happening to kids brains in the wake of all the new tech, “Anemoia.” 

Last but not least - I’ve got more planned for Intentional Investor conversations with Jim O’Shaughnessy and Perth Tolle, but these two clips from our charity event, take a watch/listen and you’ll know why I need to talk to them more deeply about their lives. 

What did you like most? What are you sharing? Anybody know Conan or Sean Evans and want to help get my essay into their hands?