Professor Youngme Moon’s writings fascinate me.  One of the things she says in her book, DIFFERENT:  Escaping the Competitive Herd, is this:  “There will always be mainstream and there will always be minor streams.”   My own thought on that is if there will always be streams, then the only thing to do is stream on!

Thinking on finding my own niche is always a difficulty since my brain apparently doesn’t deal with mainstream well.  It’s unlikely that I’ll come up with something insanely different.  However, my way of seeing things may be enough to tweak people’s head a little and that might be enough.

Dr. Moon’s explanation of Breakaway Brands sounds like a good thing to me.  I want to be able to play head-games with my customers and I want them to buy into my invitation for them to play too.

I am wholly convinced that my purpose in life is to play and to help other people play.  This has gotten me into deep kimchee with the various and sundry serious and earnest people who surround me, but I notice that if I do stuff really, really well and I keep on doing it and doing it and doing it, then they let me play my way.

Another professor (emeritus) Brian Sutton-Smith, once pointed out, “The opposite of play isn’t work.  It’s depression.  To play is to act out and be willful, exultant and committed as if one is assured of one’s prospects.”  That earned a Really Big Yes from my gut…

The critical ingredient for this strategy is, according to Dr. Moon, “transparency.”  You tell folks what you’re doing so they can decide if they might like to try it.  And then you show them how they, too, can do whatever.

The cool part is that Breakaways don’t have to be all that different from ordinary stuff.  You just have to issue a new set of eyes with every iteration.  Hmmmm….

It seems to me that could be a good thing to work on.



the games i play

inside this big balloon

i call a mind

make little impact on

what tick-tocks call world.

and yet it seems

if I did not,

if I could not

play these silly games,

i would be just

like all the clones,

caged up in all

the stolid, gray boredoms,

following along paths beaten

down by the tramp

of tired, listless feet.

i cannot even imagine

not noticing the rainbows,

butterflies, stringbeans, and strawberries.

i guess they don’t

even notice not noticing.

picture credit:  Iao Valley Stream by red3d via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]



(Click on each of the post titles below and see where it takes you…)


Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below.

16 thoughts on “STREAM ON….

  1. Very “outside the box” thinking here. I really love it! I haven’t heard of Professor Youngme Moon but I’m interested in the book now, especially after watching the video.
    Did you write “The Games I Play” or is it from the book? It’s very good. Thanks for sharing and the best of luck to you!

    1. Hey Michael…thanks for the visit and for your comments. I do indeed write the poems I include with my posts (except for the ones that my guest poets write). I’m glad you liked “The Games I Play.” Please come visit again!

  2. Joy Webster says:

    Netta, not only are you a thinking person, your thoughts are propelled by positive energy. That you share your thoughts with the rest of us is a gift I value and respect. Mahalo.

    1. Yup, Joy…I’m coming out of the closet. Here I stand, woo-woo as all get-out. Ah well…no can help. (Hee!)

      Come visit again, yeah?

  3. I really enjoyed the little video and how true the concept of difference is. I am tempted to at least have a look at this book, turn a few pages in a bookshop to see if it appeals to me, which I suspect it will!
    Play being the opposite of depression is an interesting thought. I think of animals, they don’t often display depression but they do always like to play.
    I think we all need to go back to basics and appreciate those things in life that are free, such as expressed in your delightful poem. Ches

    1. Thank you for your visit and comments, Ches. Please come again!

  4. Carmen & Ben says:

    I love, love your website.

    Stream on.  I like how you say there will always be mainstream and a minor stream.  We should focus on the mainstream because it’s so easy to lose focus when we are focusing on any other shinning object around.

    Your message about play and fun vs. depression is right on.  We should focus on the play on the mainstream 

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, guys.  I do appreciate it.

      Please do come again….

  5. LeNard Simmons says:

    Thank you for sharing once again. I just can’t get enough of your creativeness. Stream On made me put on my thinking cap.

    Have you ever been to the point you are not quite sure what to say, but you know you have to say something?
    Isn’t it all but a game? It’s like that saying, ‘the person who dies with the most toys, wins’. To me, that says ‘greed’, a blunt display of transparency.

    Professor Youngme Moon got it right. If in business being transparent means offering more then your competitor, then the whole world got stuck in a vicious cycle of greed, where both merchant and consumer end up being hard to tell apart.

    But, it only takes one individual to go against the crowd, to allow difference to enter the room.
    And now you got an idea what games I play inside this big balloon. Hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Lenard, thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  

      I’ve often gotten to the point where I’m not sure what to say but am required to make some comment or other.  Often, humor turns out to be the best thing…if the other person has any kind of a funny bone.  (There’s not much you can do with determined seriousness.  Giggling does not help with those people, I find.)

      We sure do live in a funny world, huh?

      Please do come again.

  6. Lakisha Akbar says:

    I love poems, symbolic thinking, and any creative thoughts. It’s all like proverbs to me. Professor Youngme Moon, that name is new to me. After reading your article “Stream On” (which is a very clever title by the way). I had to stop and put my thinking cap on. Very interesting thought process, I must say.

    After watching the video this subject has caught my attention. We are in a world full of noise. A world where it’s hard to hear and be heard. A world where normal is not normal anymore. I agree different is what we need. I’ve been thinking this way for the year.   

    I find it interesting when the professor states that “I want to be able to play head-games with my customers” Hmmm…that has me thinking. Will the customer play the games back with her? Apparently all it takes is transparency. Thanks for sharing this post, now I need to find the Different book.

    1. Lakisha, thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  I find that very often if you are willing to play and you’re able to make it “safe” for the other person to play, then, mostly, the other person (unless they are having a bad day) is very likely to join in.  We like laughing, us humans! 

      Please do come again.

  7. It is very nice to share your feelings in this beautiful way and allow others to play the game with you.

    I loved the twist which summons up our two or hundreds of faces. And you courageously choose what face you want to have amongst all the craze. Isn’t that amazing?

    1. I love your take on the post, Jeeda.

      Please do come again.

  8. Hello! 

    I’m really intrigued by your post about finding your own niche and embracing the concept of “Breakaway Brands.” As someone who’s new to this topic but still very interested in learning more, I find your perspective on carving out a unique space for yourself quite inspiring. I’ve always admired individuals who are able to stand out and create their own paths, especially in a world that often seems dominated by mainstream trends.

    One thing that caught my attention is the idea of “transparency” as a critical ingredient for your strategy. Could you elaborate a bit more on how transparency plays into the concept of Breakaway Brands? I understand that it involves letting people know what you’re doing and how they can participate, but I’m curious about the nuances. How do you balance sharing your unique approach while also maintaining the element of surprise or novelty that seems to be part of the Breakaway concept?

    Also, your writing reflects a deep appreciation for playfulness and the importance of seeing the world in a different light. How do you manage to infuse this sense of play into your approach while still delivering meaningful and valuable content or experiences to your audience? It sounds like a delicate balance, and I’d love to hear more about your thought process on achieving it.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights on this topic! It’s given me a lot to think about in terms of finding my own unique path and embracing the idea that “the opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression.” Your perspective is quite refreshing, and I’m eager to explore more of your posts to learn from your experiences.

    1. skamalka, thanks for the visit and for your HUGE questions.  I love it!

      My business “philosophy” has grown out of my explorations of the values I’ve always held most dear, trying to find alignment between those values and the way I prefer to walk.  It has taken a lifetime to get to the point where how I talk and the way I walk are congruent with my own self and honors the connections I have with the world I love.

      My mantra is:  “Minding Meaning and Mana.”  If you check out the “About” section in this blog, you’ll get the lowdown on the different parts of the Ho’o-cycle world I’ve developed as I played with the concepts embedded in that mantra. 

      I think I’ve got it so that I can probably explain it to a really smart nine year old, but it would take a heck of a lot more space than this comments section squib.  (Heck, some of the stuff I espouse was explained to me by my baby girl when she was three-and-a-half and she’s middle-aged now.  I’m still trying to unpack some of her baby stuff so that Big People can understand it better.)

      The thing about this is that every person has to make the journey into their kind of different in their own way.  My way probably won’t work for you because you aren’t me. 

      “Transparency,” for me, means telling people that something works (or not) and why.  Then they can decide if they want to take a shot at it.

      The best strategy, always, is to try something and see how it goes.

      Hope that helps.

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