Drew Daywalt, author of the colorful children’s bestseller The Day the Crayons Quit, reveals how horror films inspire his work.
Daywalt’s Twitter bio provides more insight into his off-kilter sensibilities: “I grew up in a haunted house, reading Dr. Seuss.” Which might explain why, besides penning enormously popular children’s books, Daywalt also writes and directs horror films. That’s right, the author who’s become a literary darling among librarians and parents alike is also a slasher fanatic. “I want to be Willy Wonka,” Daywalt says. “He has a really fun spirited side but also a dark, justice-giver side.”
We get it! These entrepreneurs overcame the odds, but their stories have been written ad nauseam. It’s time to ditch these business cliches.
One of the more interesting business books available this summer is Roadside MBA: Backroads Lessons for Executives, Entrepreneurs, and Small Business Owners. Written by three economists, it’s a rather corny look at various concepts you’d learn in business school, like barriers to entry, and economies of scale. What’s redeeming about it is that the authors went out and created case studies about dozens of small- and medium-sized businesses that you’ve never heard of. From Arnold Tool in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Key Fire Hose in Dothan, Alabama, most small business owners have a compelling story to tell.
These stories are fresh. Unfortunately in a lot of business literature, many stories, while interesting at one point, have ripened too much over time. Read enough big idea books and articles, and you’ll notice the same examples are used over and over again. There are acceptable reasons for this, but still, here are a few case studies that smart authors should stop using:
The photo shows the busy catalog card distribution office at the Library of Congress. There’s no date on the photographic print. Recently, we needed to determine when the photo was taken, so out came my magnifying glass. (LOC: Picture This blog)
The party line on piracy is that it’s bad for business. But what to make of the case of “Go the Fuck to Sleep,” the “children’s book for adults” whose viral-pirate PDF launched the book to the number-one spot on Amazon.com a month before its release?