The TMNT Lesson On How To Make Cool Stuff

Welcome back for day 2 of “How To Make Your Stuff Cool.”

I’m going to jump right into the story:

In November of 1983, Ronald Reagan was a year away from one of the largest landslide election victories in the history of the United States.

But that has nothing to do with it.

At the same time, in Dover, New Hampshire, illustrators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird had an idea: they thought it would be “fun” to start a comic book.

They decided on their target market (teenagers), and then brainstormed things that teenagers found exciting.

After a while, they had a long list, and then circled three entries on that list:

Turtles, Ninjas, and Mutants.

Eastman drew a massive turtle standing on its hind legs and holding a pair of nunchucks. Below it, Laird wrote the words “teenage mutant.”

And the rest is history. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (renamed “Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles” in Europe) became a multi-billion dollar entertainment, toy, and licensing franchise.

You can use their technique to come up with new and fresh angles to give your own audience. Start out by getting very clear on who your audience is and what they already know and like. Look for crazy and appealing combinations of those things, add in a dose of your personality and creativity, and see what happens.

The reason I’m telling you this story isn’t so you can start making up stories about reptiles. Here is what I know for sure about thought leadership: Thought Leaders become leaders of thoughts by saying original things that have never been said before. And if they have to say something unoriginal, they say it in a way that has never been said before.

This technique will help you with that. Now go sign up for my emails so you can get tips like this every day.