One of us

Ryan Holiday is the marketer behind a lot of books and buzz that you’ve heard about. I worked with Ryan on Seth’s book trailer by SimpliFilm for The Icarus Deception. Most recently, he authored a short and insightful book called Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising.

The book mentions conferences, concepts, authors, books, and founders that are well-known among people like us. Unfortunately, the narrator of the audiobook was not so familiar and made such gaffes as Steve ‘WOZE-nee-ack’ and ‘aye slash bee’ tests and some ‘Ess Ex Ess Double-You’ conference *.

It’s a bit challenging to convey the pronunciation errors in print, but suffice it to say that this guy had never heard of any of these things. So it took me from a place of reflection and learning to amusement and slight irritation. This guy isn’t one of us, he has no idea what he’s talking about…

What makes this even more amusing is that Ryan is outspoken in his personal opposition to audiobooks:

I don’t do audiobooks for a couple reasons. 1) I don’t spend that much time in the car and when I work out, I prefer not to be working. 2) I don’t speed read but I am faster than most narrator. 3) There is absolutely no way to take notes or mark passages. 4) Honestly I think the only full audio book I’ve ever made it all the way through was the reading of TMIL and that’s because they paid me.

So I’m not even sure he listened to the audio version before it was published. And that’s fine. It’s just a reminder to me how the “secret handshakes” we use to align with our tribes are both represented by the things we know, and characterized by the things we don’t.

Further reading:

* = WOZ-nee-ack, A/B tests (you don’t pronounce the slash), and “South by Southwest” are what he was searching for.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.