Nothing can be more dreary than ‘coolness’…
— Daily Kerouac (@DailyKerouac) March 15, 2017
Jack Kerouac wrote that nothing is more dreary than coolness, and while I’m not sure that’s a real quote, it sure feels right when you look at Piper Jaffray’s Taking Stock With Teens study.
Teens want boring stuff like Nike, American Eagle and Forever 21. It’s just awful that boring stuff like Vineyard Vines is cool. But boring stuff has always been cool, no matter the decade, which is exactly why Jack Kerouac is right. It’s so fucking dreary.
But you know what has never been cool? Anything that any of us are doing on social media.
Wow this teen branding survey is brutal pic.twitter.com/X2BeTNkOW6
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) April 4, 2017
Hahahahahahaha. Typical adults are the furthest thing from cool. If your kids tell you that what you’re doing on the internet is cool, they’re lying or they want money.
That’s why I’ve tried to run in the opposite direction of cool when creating a brand and a voice for GlitchPath. These are early days for my company, but I’m trying to match the company voice to the problem we want to solve: unnecessary and stupid failure in the enterprise.
That’s not a cool problem to solve, which relieves the pressure to do anything other than speak in my voice. And thank god I have an advisory board that stops me from making too much of an effort to impress anybody. That never turns out well.
We’ve created a standard for GlitchPath’s brand and messaging: Does it make us laugh? If we laugh, it stays. That’s why I can write a “job description” for a co-founder that says Fuck Trump! and not take it too seriously. I laughed pretty hard when I wrote it. Don’t like it? Don’t be my technical co-founder.
So, here’s what I know: being cool is boring, and it’s also unattainable. When you try, you fail. That’s why your efforts should be directed elsewhere. Be funny, be brave, be bold, be honest, be ambitious, be cynical, or be kind.
Just don’t try to be cool. You don’t need a premortem to tell you that you’re going to fail.