Be Crafty: Hire a Deviant


When authors Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker call someone a deviant, they intend it as high praise. In their new book, The Deviant's Advantage: How Fringe Ideas Create Mass Markets, the duo explain how "positive" deviance "is the backbeat of commerce, the rhythm of innovation that drives wealth creation and defines attitudes and values." It's often the "oddball" ideas--from sticky Post-it notes to the Blair Witch Project (a film which cost $60,000 to make, and grossed $240 million)--that make fortunes for enterprising companies. The resulting product or service must of course be polished and marketed. But the path that most successful...

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