“Entrepreneurs don’t play by the rules. Why should you be judged by them?”
– from the Rule Breakers Award Website.
In my work with events like TEDxHoboken, TEDxVeniceBeach, TEDxVilnius, IDEAS LA, and many, many more, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet other Entrepreneurs from all over the world. My friend Indrė, an entrepreneur in Vilnius, Lithuania recently mailed me a lovely bottle of one of the first craft beers brewed in Vilnius. It was great. It was brewed by a guy named Gedas at Sakiškių Alus. That’s just cool.
And, Gedas was breaking the rules! For so long the rule was: Beer should be bland and tasteless and completely uninteresting. I don’t know why we live by stupid rules like this, but we do.
Once examined, though, the stupid rules crumble. And, I think that one thing great entrepreneurs do is they notice where we’re following stupid rules and then create mechanisms to help us break free of them.
Gedas in Vilnius, Greg Koch and Steve Wagner of Stone Brewing Company here in the US (and now Berlin Germany, too!!!), and entrepreneurs all over the world are breaking the rules and bringing us great tasting, surprising, creative beers. It’s wonderful!
And, of course, it’s not just beers. Look at how Uber broke the rule that getting somewhere had to be a harrowing, degrading experience! In the places where the taxi experience is great, like Dublin, Ireland, they don’t make as much headway. But, in the places where the taxi experience was awful, where the rule was that you just had to put up with a horrible experience if you wanted to get anywhere, they are crushing it. Every time I use Uber in the states I wear a secret smile because I am so happy to be breaking the rule that you have to ride in a taxi and have an experience that sucks.
I, too, am out to break the rules. I am out to break the rules that speeches about technical material need to be boring; that scientists can’t tell interesting stories and connect with their audiences; that technical, complicated topics need to come off as technical complicated topics; that PowerPoint is something to use as speaker notes which confuse and distract your audience, and that presenting in public must be the terrifying experience it is when you’re worried about being judged the whole time.
It seems like there are a lot of people in all kinds of positions and companies and stages of life and speaking ability who are with me. People at the NASA Orion project – breaking the rule that says we can’t go to Mars, and Boston Scientific’s Neuromodulation team – who break the rule that MDs have to be distant and bamboozle you with their vast knowledge, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Labs who break the rule that big companies have to suck the lifeblood from small companies instead of collaborating in a way that works for both, and Accenture Strategy, who break the rules that consultants have to drown you in complexity and PowerPoint slides with so much information it makes your eyes bleed… And there are many more. All of whom who want to break those stupid rules, too.
Thank you to all of you, let’s take this rule breaking revolution further and further and further for the good of everyone.
I’m deeply grateful for people like you; people who take risks to do what you love and bring your unique talents to bear for the good of all of us.
Check out the Rule Breaker Awards, it’s all about people like you. People who know better than to simply play by the rules!
And, check out the Rule Breaker Awards – they were created for people just like you!
2016 RULE BREAKER NOMINATIONS run from APRIL 1 – JUNE 30, 2016
EVENT DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 2016
EVENT LOCATION: TALKING STICK RESORT, SCOTTSDALE, AZ
JUDGING: JULY 1 TO AUGUST 31
WINNERS ANNOUNCED: SEPTEMBER 15