Steve Jobs said it best, “Everything is a remix”. That’s a pretty bold statement coming from a guy known to be one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of our time. But don’t be fooled, Jobs was a thief…

Is that wrong?

You may be surprised that some of the best-known people in sports, music, and tech are also klepto-creatives.

Here are a few notable suspects:

  • Kobe Bryant – victim Michael Jordan – “[I copied] Damn near 100 percent of the technique. Damn near 100 percent”. source
  • Michael Jackson – victim Hall & Oats – “Hey man, I hope you don’t mind if I stole ‘No Can Do (Bille Jean).’” source
  • Thomas Edison – victim The Light Bulb – “I start where the last man left off”.  source

It’s no secret, that one of my favorite authors is Hollywood screenwriter and advertising guru Steven Pressfield. In his book, “Nobody Wants to Read Your [Stuff]”, he blatantly tells his audience they should “steal without shame”. In his experience as an advertiser, stealing is normal practice.

In a recent blog post, Pressfield confesses:

“For [Legend of Bagger Vance], I had shamelessly ripped off the premise and spine of the Bhagavad-Gita. Now let me admit a further theft and an additional bonus:

When you steal a great story’s structure you also get its characters. See Romeo and Juliet, Jesus of Nazareth, etc.

When I poached the structure of the Gita, I got as a bonus the two principal characters—Arjuna and Krishna—and I got the dynamic of their relationship…” 

As I was watching an interview with one of my favorite marketing guys, Bille Gene Shaw, he admittedly confess’s to stealing an idea from Tyler Perry, using it for his own business.

In the interview with American Dream San Diego, Billy Gene says, “I tried to reverse engineer [how Tyler Perry became a household name] like, how did he do that?’ And it’s because every one of his movies is titled ‘Tyler Perry presents blank'”.  The well-known facebook marketer aspired to make his own name famous, to that end, Mr. Shaw titled his company “Billy Gene is Marketing”.

All the good ones steal.

You should too. Many people have paved the way so that we don’t have to learn again or repeat mistakes. My new book, “Marketing Tips From Jesus”, is based on that premise. And I use stories from people like Jesus and Alexander The Great, to show there really isn’t anything new under the sun. Everything is a remix.

Many people have paved the way for entrepreneurs like you and me. So there is no reason for us to learn what has already been discovered or repeat mistakes. My new book, “Marketing Tips From Jesus“, is based on that premise. I use stories from people like Jesus and Alexander The Great, to show there really isn’t anything new under the sun. Everything is a remix.

So if your ideas aren’t working, maybe you should head to your local bookstore, make your way to the history section, and start lining your pockets…

Just sayin’.