What does humor and business have in common? At first glance, not much, but after digging a little deeper, there’s quite a lot that humor can teach us about business. Peter McGraw, behavioral scientist, author of Shtick To Business and The Humor Code, and host of the Solo Podcast kept wondering why we find certain things funny. He decided to put it to the test in his lab, HRL, the Humor Research Lab.
Peter discovered that we often find things funny when they’re wrong, but okay. Threatening, yet safe. Things that make no sense, yet make perfect sense. Most importantly, you don’t want to be the person who thinks they’re funny, but actually isn’t it. You have to think funny, not just be funny. You have to fight the status quo constantly, to make material that people will find outlandish, but true enough to laugh at.
But how does that relate to business? Peter brings some great business examples that followed the same flow of most comedy writing routines. Take AirBnB for example, when they first launched the idea, most people thought they were crazy. I mean, who would want to sleep in someone’s spare bedroom or mother-in-law suite for a weekend? It turns out, almost everyone in the world would.
These kind of outlandish but great ideas come through a process that Peter calls “Sh*t-storming”. Contrary to regular brainstorming, sh*t-storming is when you throw out crazy ideas, and sometimes, something will come out that is so crazy, it actually works. Besides AirBnB, Peter relates this to Tim Ferris’s cold calling method and the P90x workout system as just a few examples.
Comedy and business aren’t that far apart in the idea creation stage. Follow Peter’s advice and your business won’t get laughed out of your next meeting!
Connect with Peter:
Peter’s Podcasts – https://petermcgraw.org/
Peter’s Personal Website – https://petermcgraw.org/
Check the full show notes here: https://www.biggerpockets.com/bizshow94