Why You Need to Create Dangerously

On December 14th 1957, shortly after being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, Albert Camus gave a lecture at Sweden’s University of Uppsala where he talked about the need to create dangerously. In his opening statements, he explained, “Our era forces us to take an interest in it. The writers of today know this. If they speak up, they are criticized and attacked. If they become modest and keep silent, they are vociferously blamed for their silence.”

It might not seem like it at first glance, but Camus’ lecture has a lot to offer to today’s sales and marketing teams. In 2018, our era forces us to take more of an interest in it than ever before thanks to the internet, social networking sites and our always on society. And the only way for us to break through the noise is to create dangerously.

Another way of looking at it comes from filmmaker Devinsupertramp, who has over 4.5 million subscribers and 915 million total views on YouTube. He’s known for his cinematic style and his extreme sports videos, and he often talks about how he built his name by being willing to get the shot that no one else was willing to get. And when he fell during a shoot and injured himself, he said, “If you’re not getting hurt once in a while then you’re doing it wrong.”


Albert Camus
Albert Camus


Creating dangerously

Camus and Graham are as different as they come, and yet their advice pretty much amounts to the same thing. In today’s world, everything is competition. If you’re a marketer trying to sell your product, you’re competing with literally every other marketer who’s targeting similar prospects. It’s estimated that people are exposed to up to 20,000 marketing messages every day. Yours accounts for just one of them.

There’s only one way to stand out, and that’s to create dangerously. In other words, your brand needs to make a stand for what it believes in. It needs to have an opinion on things, particularly when they’re topics that closely relate to your core business, and it needs to make its voice heard and its thoughts known.

Some senior executives worry that taking a stand and having opinions can open both the execs and the brand up to criticism. And that might be true, but if you’re not putting yourself in a position in which you’re vulnerable to criticism, you’re not creating dangerously. And if you’re not creating dangerously, whatever you’re creating is effectively irrelevant.





We’re not saying that you need to go out and start making controversial statements at any opportunity. You just need to be willing to put yourself out there – to create dangerously – whether that’s through the content that your marketing team creates or whether it’s through the conversations that your sales team has. You need to dare to be different. Because if you’re not daring to be different, you’re just the same as everyone else.

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