That’s right I mean those American people who look like this…
Now this isn’t a post blasting said Hipsters, I have several friends in the states that would qualify as exactly this. But the thing is they’re just trying oh so hard to be unique and individual and stand out, and quite frankly, for the most part, get things oh so wrong. Just like you get certain white people trying to be black, dumb people trying to be smart, and guys trying to be women. The end result is usually comical and makes these wannabes look like tools.
Hipsters are exactly what they are… wannabes, and as such they’re stuck in the middle, not quite cool but a laughing stock to the majority of society. They see the individual cool of Europe and wish they were there in their natural habitat. Away from the dull buzzed haircuts and grey sweat shirts of Middle America and in the frenzy of colour and tight jeans of Milan, Paris, and London.
I see many brands doing exactly this (and when I say brands I mean everything from companies, authors, freelancers, designers, celebrities etc), striving to be unique and offer something special, but most of the time falling short and looking like everybody else trying to be different. They set their targets and try to be different and unique and special, but for the most part chase shadows and look like everyone else. Just look at Hipsters, they try so hard to get away from the ‘Norm’, but all end up with the same haircuts and clothes and green glasses. They may look quirky and different and stand out from the crowd, but they still look like the rest of the non-conformers (aka, conforming).
So how can you avoid this? How can you be unique and different and special, but still be relevant and successful? Well let’s look at Apple and how they‘ve pretty much never invented anything. They do computers but did they invent them? No! They do phones, but how long were mobile phones around before the iphone? A million years! What about Tablet Computers? Yep, they were around too. MP3 players? Yes that’s right, they too were around for quite a while before the ipod.
So why is it then they’re so successful and literally one of the worlds biggest companies? The simple answer is they had a creative genius driving them forward, starting as a Hipster (always trying to be different and unique and special) and eventually becoming part of that special Club so few people get to (let’s call it the land of awesome).
Apple take markets that already exist, customers who are already happy with what they have and turn everything upside down. They take existing products, put their funky spin on it, and communicate it in a way that makes people go ‘Wow, I need that!’. Just like a musician may take a few genres and mix them together into a new sound, Apple take products and make people ‘Need’ them.
So what does this show us? It shows us that a creative person can strive to be different and unique and special, and totally redefine something. The problem with this is that there’s so little room for the ‘Special Person’. Most of us are supposed to be followers, and the majority of people who want to be different die trying. This land of awesome is available for just a few people, and rightly so. It’s this selective dynamic that keeps the world ticking along.
But the world needs Hipsters, they need the world to be full of people wanting to be the best and coming up short. Can you still be a success? Heck yeah, just take a look at the P&L sheets of HP, Samsung, and Toshiba and weep at the numbers. The people who should worry are the followers, the one’s happy to plod along and conform. They’re the ones struggling and just getting by. They’re the ones who’s P&L sheets look standard at best.
The world is full of people willing to settle for less (they usually have buzzed haircuts and wear grey sweat shirts), with the rest of us chasing shadows and dreams (they’re the ones in the bright orange jumpers, green glasses, and holding a camera from 1987). The remaining few are the geniuses of the world, the ones that we’ll remember for years to come. What do they wear? Usually something very expensive… either that or a black turtleneck.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million