My final session at SXSW14 was a cracker: Michael Lazerow, CMO, Salesforce and Buddy Media Founder presented “The Science of Weird: Why Weirdos Outperform Normals”.

Lazerow was super casual and could hold a room… the type that’s as comfortable hanging out with film makers and billionaire VCs as with hippies and dominatrices. His premise was that from a very young age we are taught to be normal. And to make things worse, our ‘standardised’ school based system crushes critical life requirements such as: interest in learning; preference for challenging tasks and quality of thinking.

But then we hit the real world and discover that normal is boring. Boring people are forgettable. Lazerow reminded us that in order to succeed as a person – or as business or brand – you can’t be ‘blah’.

Lazerow believes that ‘Weirdos’ outperform ‘Normals’ because:

• Weirdos question common beliefs – often publicly.
• Weirdos have conviction and will defend their ideas.
• Weirdos are self-directed, self-motivated & fearless.
• Weirdoes learn to listen to their gut.

Weirdos like “Count Cecino” who was the Brazilian billionaire that buried his Bentley in the name of organ donation:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2425452/Brazilian-businessman-buries-310-000-Bentley-use-afterlife.html

As Lazerow was talking I couldn’t help thinking that us Aussies are guilty of pushing ‘average’ now more than ever. In the US, you only need to go to places like Austin or Venice Beach or Greenwich Village to see just how much American’s celebrate diversity of cultures, interests and creative talent.

So thanks, Michael Lazerow, for an unconventional reminder about the beauty and genius of misfits. Now onto the after party featuring Lady Gaga and DJ Shadow… I wonder if they serve Budweiser?!

Steve.

See more of The Royals’ coverage at SXSW Live and Fresh, a collaboration with B&T.

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