How Underdogs Win
May 10, 2009 § 7 Comments
I’m taken by Malcolm Gladwell’s article in the New Yorker, How David Beats Goliath. Offering glimpses into history from the Biblical to T.E. Lawrence, and adding in a pre-teen basketball team and war game tournament, Gladwell dissects the way underdogs can win: stop playing by the rules, since the rules were created by those in power.
It’s a powerful take that has much application to our current political and economic dilemmas. Some of us want to change the rules or ignore them to find solutions and others protest that to do so will cause chaos or that “It’s not fair, it’s always been done that way.” Gladwell’s hypothesis is that the only way we can make real change is to become Davids.
We can see this strategy applied to the literary world. Self publishing is a response to the powers who determined what’s publishable. Writers decided that if they couldn’t get in the door, they’d build another house – a David’s innovative response. And it has changed the face of authorship.
I wonder what’s next? Now that we are all published, through blogs and social networks, vanity presses and Kinko’s, Kindle and Amazon, where do you think publishing will be in 20 years?