Inspired by the Crazy Ones

I’m writing this at the end of the first day of the inaugural Vision 3 Summit, the joint leadership conference from NAPL, NPES, and Printing Industries of America. It’s lovely weather in Palm Desert and I saw a great sunset from the balcony of this posh hotel. Oh, and the sessions were pretty good, too.

The final session was put on by a former printing company owner turned motivational speaker. Now, in the past quarter century or so I’ve sat through so many motivational presentations that I should be motivated from here to the afterlife. I can sometimes even identify the source of clever or moving anecdotes and examples because I’ve heard them before. Maybe I’ve been under a rock (not knowing I could save 15% or more on car insurance with GEICO), but one of his bits was new—at least to me.

It was a video clip of many famous luminaries of the past century, all of whom had contributed to significant changes in the world and in people’s lives. The clip was part of Apple’s former “Think Different” ad campaign.

Ever since the hammer slinging woman in Apple’s spoof on George Orwell’s 1984, I’ve been a fan of their commercials—if not always of their products. So when I got back to my room I decided to look up the history of the clip.

“Think Different” was an advertising slogan created in 1997 for use in TV commercials. There was a long one-minute TV commercial and a short 30-second version—both of which were known as the “Crazy Ones” spots. The one-minute version featured 17 personalities ranging from Albert Einstein to Martin Luther King to Pablo Picasso to Jim Henson, complete with Kermit the Frog. It was a black-and-white montage of some of the most creative and visionary people of the century.

I try not to be too touchy feely in this space, but I’d like to share the voice over that went with this particular “Crazy Ones” spot:

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Crazy, isn’t it?