Tuesday, May 26, 2009

15 minutes of fame

Andy Warhol said in 1968, "In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes!" By the late 80's it had become a reality for many. Simon Cowell, a.k.a. Spice Girls and American Idol, suggests that with reality TV "everyone can be obscure for 15 minutes". And now with face book, blogging and other social media, everyone can be famous to at least 15 people (not including my mum).

Warhols 15 minutes refers to the fleeting condition of celebrity that is a result of some fickle media grabbing onto some often self-created buzz.

I don't like the idea of celebrity!

I don't think those who have it like it very much either. A certain Miss Hilton aside most, would rather you watched their movies and enjoyed their acting, not their very human relationship issues. I don't like the idea of celebrity and certainly not the light entertainment magazine selling kind. I think it is a consequence of exposure without substance. I'd almost prefer notoriety where I am known for disagreeing with some famous stance. Or "IDEAreity' where I am known for something I said or thought.

When people follow what you wear you are a fashion celebrity. When people discover in you a way to express an idea they themselves have had but could not explain, that's thought leadership. When people get to entertain an idea that they had not yet considered that's thought leadership. With Thought Leadership, you get something way more valuable than celebrity.

Your thinking is more important than your styling, but stylish thinking will win on both fronts. Let's start a magazine called ‘The Idea' and replace ‘No Idea' on the news stands. Let's make it sexy, full of well-crafted ideas, ideas that contribute to a conversation or contradict a conversation.

Thinking needs an extreme make over. It needs a U2 soundtrack and an OBAMAesque charisma. It needs to inspire not just inform, it needs to engage the right hemisphere and not simply be logic to the left.

Thinking is no longer the realm of the clever PHD waving residents of Ivory Tower. We need to popularise ideas. We need to shape them into sound bytes and deliver them Haiku style on a long tail to all who will listen. Ideas shape thinking, thinking will save the planet, change your world and deliver fulfillment on a scale we can't even imagine.

Here are 15 minimums of claim, a prescription for Thought Leadership…
  1. Claim a piece of mental real estate; own an idea
  2. Start a blog on that idea
  3. Create a screencast about your idea
  4. Publish a book
  5. Mentor someone
  6. Give a speech
  7. Start a movement
  8. Write a white paper about your idea
  9. Contribute to an existing conversation
  10. Contradict an existing conversation
  11. Create a conference around your idea
  12. Start a Twitter on your idea
  13. Create a network around your idea
  14. Publish a newspaper on your idea
  15. Invite others to evangelize your idea
Create extraordinary ideas and share them with the world.

Learn. Think. Share.



  1. thanks Matt!!!
    I am currently going through this process - I have decided to be a little challenging in order to create something great and there is so much resistance...I understand people's fear of change but they should be afraid of nothing changing or not attaining the full potential of an idea or business..
    Inspiration is much needed, especially now...
    I also thing we worship the superficial and don't acknowledge (or may not be aware of)the people and leaders who are changing their community, and the world, with their mind and heart..
    here's to new thinking and inspiration!

  2. Great Matt, love this piece. Love the idea of ideas and the power of ideas and your passion for the power of ideas and the possibilities of ideas and the possibility that a passion for ideas creates for us all.
    My build on it…
    We live in a time of unprecedented creativity. While ideas old and new abound and are in plentiful supply we can always use more. Especially those ideas that emancipate, liberate, empower, inspire, add value and create opportunity for greater life, abundance and joy.
    Yet while ideas abound as never before isn’t it ironic that we seem to live in a time when our actions demonstrate such a lack of wisdom.
    It might be worth contemplating what it is that gives value and direction and worth to an idea?. What makes some ideas better than others. What makes one course of creative endeavor wise and another folly?
    What are the ideas that will truly liberate and empower us to navigate the opportunities and challenge ahead for humanity and our earth.
    What gives an idea value is the ‘system that guides the idea’. And that system is the heart.
    Our inner intuitive connection to each other to the earth and to possibilities greater than ourselves. Our connection to our non-rational, dare I say ‘non-idea based’, spiritual dimension.
    We have seen the revolution of the hand - the industrial revolution of the last 150 years unleashed an unprecedented capacity for humanity to 'shape the earth' to our own design'. We are experiencing the revolution of the head – the information revolution has launched a tidal wave of ideas, thoughts, creative networks, and amazing mind connections.
    What's now needed is to lead in the revolution of the heart.
    A revolution that provides the guidance system for our amazing human creative potential.
    A revolution to guide our heads and hands to the pursuit of worthy ends.
    We know we are experiencing the revolution of the heart when Thought Leaders are Heart Leaders.
    Love your writing Matt. More please!!!