Playing On One Buttock

Ian Lurie

I just watched Benjamin Zander speak about transformation, creativity and his book, The Art of Possibility.

He made one point that really stuck with me: A great concert pianist will often sway and lean with their music. They’re lost to it, taking risks and not worrying, right then, about what the audience will think. As they lean they end up playing, most of the time, on one buttock.

And they play beautiful music that leaves their audience spellbound.

So much of marketing is so conservative, so stuck on older creative principles, not because we know they work best, but because we’re afraid to take a leap.

We should all try playing on one buttock a bit more often, I think. The pianist’s audience loves their music. Ours might, too….

If you can, see Benjamin Zander speak. If you haven’t read his book, do so, trust me…

The Art of Possibility

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life (Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander)

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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  1. I think as marketers we are often too afraid to take a leap and play on one buttock because we are working for someone who wants something specific. Clients are too often not open to new ideas, and want clones of stuff they have seen in the past. Once we find a way to convince clients to take that risk, we can feel more comfortable as marketers taking said risk.

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