Have you ever wanted to make millions by putting words on paper? Are you not terribly interested in research or footnotes? You could be the next Gladwell if you follow these steps.
1) Think of a single word. Something exciting.
How about “ZAP” ?
2) Think of an overwrought way to define something important about success.
I’m going to go with “Having an idea that might be good.”
3) Write a book called “Chicken Soup for the Businessman’s Soul”
This book contains stories about a bunch of people who ran businesses and were successful. It doesn’t matter how they did it or why. It doesn’t matter where you got the story or how accurately you portray it.
4) Now, change the title of that book to “ZAP.”
Remember, no self-respecting businessman would buy “Chicken Soup for the Businessman’s Soul.” That’s for softhearted wusses, and not enlightened hard-ass fact-seekers like your average self-conceived businessman. But “Zap” on an abstract background looks pretty serious.
5) Give it a subtitle that expresses (2) as if it’s a Newtonian principle.
I’m gonna go with “Zap: The emerging science of how successful entrepreneurs innovate.”
6) Go through all your chicken soup stories and put a reference to “Zap” at the beginning and end.
For example, let’s say we’re talking about Jeff Bezos. Simply start the section with “Jeff Bezos was headed for a life of run-of-the-mill middle class success. Then he was Zapped.” Then, at the end, say “Bezos wasn’t just clever. He was Zapped.”
Now your chicken soup stories are magically transmuted from anecdotes to data. Colloquially, they are said to be “Gladwelled.”
7) Make a listing of what businessmen can do to get the verb form of the book’s title to happen to them.
Here, you’ll need things like – have connections, have education, work hard, and experience good luck. However, these are all obvious or are things you can’t manually adjust. So change them to things like “find a connector,” or “be a fact synthesizer.”
8) Never encounter the word “counterfactual” or you may suffer a crisis of self image.
Remember the old joke among social scientists – “Predict the future? It’s hard enough to predict the past!” However, those social scientists haven’t realized that it’s easy to predict the past as long as you’re talking about one story at a time.
If you follow all these steps, friends, you too… could be Zapped ™.