The world of business, in the eyes of most people, is full of flash people in their mid-30s in suits and ties. It’s people who come from a corporate background; business educated at Uni, vast experience, unbreakable confidence. A brief look around the business world in reality, though, shows that this could not be any further from the case!
The business world is full of people who break standard stereotype; even ‘hippies’. So, what kind of people have achieved lasting success in business despite not fitting the average stereotype of what constitutes an ‘ideal businessman’?
While Twitter creator Jack Dorsey might not be a “hippie”, he was a punk skater up until he hit his mid-20s. His first serious business move was to make a cab program, which didn’t obtain great success. Then he worked with Ev Williams, who was running podcast form Odeo, and the rest, they say, is history.
At just 30, he was appointed CEO, left behind the dyed-blue hair, and took himself to a whole new level of success in the years to come. He might not be a hippie in the standard sense, but it’s easy to see that Dorsey set the tone for people from his generation who whale about “accomplishing nothing” by their mid-20s.
As Jack shows, not everyone is a child prodigy.
Before becoming the mastermind behind Netflix, one of the most powerful revolutions in recent years in the media world, Reed Hastings was in the Peace Corps. He taught English to the people of Swaziland, before he created Pure Software in 1991, a de-bugging kit for software teams.
At 37, he sold Pure Software for a cool $750m and made what has made him the household name that is today.
Ben Dronkers founded Sensi Seeds in 1985, and is what many people might consider an unconventional business leader. After 30 years of success – and a wonderful exhibition to show it – Dronkers has broken with normal business convention to make something quite remarkable.
While it might seem like a comical stereotype that Dronkers – a “hippie” to many people – runs a company that focuses on creating cannabis seeds, it’s quite the perfect fit and showcases why his company has become so immensely popular.
Elli Present Perkins
Elli Present Perkins is a rather interesting character, who has gone from a traditional Woodstock-visiting “hippie” into someone who made a huge name for herself. A wonderful artist, she created glass paintings that became massive hits and gave her the chance to create amazing artistry on a unique platform.
With over 30,000 sold since the late 1970s, she set herself on a path from being one of the crowd to a genuine market leader. It was her incredible drive and commitment to making things that captured a more artistic, genuine light that set her apart from many of her competitors.
Each of these people don’t come from traditional backgrounds in business. Whether they hailed from Woodstock or from the Peace Corps, they proved that the stereotype won’t always stick.