Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Chilling, no?

As published in this months 'Business Horizons'

As featured in this months 'Harpers'

Fail better! Samuel Beckett's secrets of business and branding success

By Stephen Brown


Samuel Beckett, the peerless Irish playwright, is widely regarded as the epitome of art for art's sake aestheticism. He hated salesmanship of any kind, famously describing it as “mercantile gehenna.” Yet, despite his anti-business reputation, Samuel Beckett is a perfect role model for our paradoxical times. His “fail better” philosophy is very much in keeping with today's creativity-driven, hyper-competitive, warp-speed world of fads, fashions, and here-today-gone-tomorrow consumer crazes. This article argues that, in a world where every organization is customer oriented and every executive is au fait with best textbook practice, Beckett's idiosyncratic esthetic encapsulates several salient secrets of business and branding success.

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