The stench emanating from the room was enough to cause most people to avoid both the closed quarters and the person responsible for this ungodly aroma.
Even my cohort, Dan Oetting, who was not known for cleanliness or personal grooming habits, avoided getting too close to this foul human as much possible.
It had even become a joke amongst the computing elite in the basement of the CSU engineering building where the computer lab was housed, where smells were rated based on their “Shock Value.” John Shock, the man behind this bodily odor atrocity, was a thin man with a scraggly beard who could be easily mistaken as a homeless bum. But make no mistake, this man was a genius.
MIT liked to think of themselves as the only school who had world class hackers who essentially lived in the computer lab, often forgetting to shower, shave, or even eat, ignoring all forms of personal hygiene, as they became so engrossed in their code and pushing the limits of what computers could do. Perhaps they were the equivalent of modern day gamers. The difference was, they were trying to change the world.
I had the “privilege” of working with these people when I was in college, which set me on a career that allowed me to become known as an OG in the computer world.
The word “hacker” used to be a term of deep respect, applied to those who tried new and innovative ways to get computers to do things that no one else had thought possible. A hack referred to something that was brilliant and admirable. For example, when I first started programming, I needed to generate a random number so that every time someone played the game I was working on, it would have a different outcome. The problem was that computers don’t actually generate true random numbers. They use a look up table of random values between 0 and 1, such as .372469861. But I discovered that you could use the TIME function, convert the time to a real number, and multiply it by the result of the RAN function. By strict definition, this wasn’t truly “random” in that the current time is not random, but it solved the problem of getting a different result in an apparent random fashion. This technique is still used by many programmers today.
Among those I had the good fortune to be associated with was John Walker. I used to think that John simply didn’t have any fashion sense and he only owned white button-down shirts. But when he got an ink stain on his shirt and it remained there for days, I realized he simply never changed his clothes! Anyways, he wrote a computer aided design program that could be run on a personal computer using just 2 floppy disks when everyone believed it required a mainframe to run this type of program. This was absolutely brilliant, disrupting an entire industry and making it possible for even small architect and engineering firms to have access to these tools. That program became what is today the industry standard AutoCAD. (John never did like the public spotlight and moved to Switzerland where people couldn’t bug him after the company went public).
I’ve been called a nerd, a dork, a geek, a techie and gearhead. But, I was proud when I had someone introduce me as “one of the best computer hackers they had ever met.” Having spent an inappropriate amount of my time at college locked into a small room with nothing but a keypunch machine, I felt a kinship with these other eccentric individuals.
Of course the word hacker has evolved into being something sinister. It came to describe intrepid, anti-authoritarian, even criminal computer engineers who would illegally bypass communications security measures gaining access to data and software. Even the original hackers at MIT, CSU and other universities no longer want to describe themselves as hackers. (The actual term for a computer thief is a “cracker”).
Like hacks, house hacking, and other uses of the word still show that there are positive uses for this word. Perhaps this is why the term is also used for story hacking, sales hacking, growth hacking, funnel hacking and more. Hacking is defined as “pushing technology to its limits and making technology more resilient through testing, tinkering, and exploration. Hacking is a mindset, a culture, a spirit, and the execution of creative problem-solving.”
And as you can see from the story I just told, storytelling can be one of the most powerful ways to increase your sales. I captured your attention by telling a story.
Whether you are writing email copy or a description about your products, stories are one of the most influential ways to get and maintain your reader’s interest.
Rather than just describing your product, write a story about it.
Consider this product description:
Classic Ivory Pillar Candle, crafted to provide a timeless touch to any setting.
- Candle type: Ivory Pillar Candle.
- Dimensions: Cylindrical, 3 inches diameter, 6 inches tall.
- Color: Ivory.
- Material: Paraffin wax, cotton wick.
- Burn Time: Up to 50 hours.
- Fragrance: None.
- Usage: For illumination and decoration.
- Safety: Place on heat-resistant surface. Trim wick to 1/4 inch before use.
- Environmental Impact: Paraffin wax from refined petroleum. Production meets environmental standards.
- Packaging: Recyclable cardboard box.
Elevate your ambiance with the Classic Ivory Pillar Candle, a staple for those who appreciate understated elegance and functionality.
Now consider this alternative:
The rain lashed against the windows, and the wind howled through the trees, causing the old mansion to creak and groan. Inside, the grand ballroom was filled with guests, their laughter and chatter creating a stark contrast to the storm outside. It was the annual masquerade ball of the Whitmore estate, an event that drew attendees from far and wide.
Amidst the sea of masked faces, Eleanor, a young woman with raven-black hair and piercing blue eyes, stood alone, her gaze fixed on the entrance. She was waiting for someone, someone she had never met but had exchanged letters with for months. Their correspondence had begun accidentally, a misdelivered letter that turned into a deep and mysterious connection.
Suddenly, the lights flickered and went out, plunging the ballroom into darkness. Gasps and murmurs filled the room. Eleanor’s heart raced. This was the moment. She reached into her purse and pulled out the Classic Ivory Pillar Candle she had brought with her. Striking a match, she lit the candle. Its soft glow illuminated her face, casting shadows that danced with her every movement.
From the other end of the room, a tall figure approached, drawn to the light of her candle. As he neared, Eleanor could see his mask, adorned with intricate silver patterns, his eyes searching hers. Without a word, he took her hand, and they began to dance, their movements in perfect harmony, as if they had known each other for a lifetime.
The music swelled, and the two danced as one, lost in each other’s embrace. The storm outside seemed to fade away, and all that remained was the soft glow of the candle and the rhythm of their hearts.
As dawn approached, the mysterious man whispered his name in Eleanor’s ear, “Julian.” They promised to meet again, their bond sealed by the night and the candle that had brought them together.
The next day, as the guests recounted the events of the night, many spoke of the enchanting dance between Eleanor and the masked man. And while the identity of her dance partner remained a mystery, one thing was certain: the Classic Ivory Pillar Candle had played a pivotal role in their unforgettable encounter.
For moments that matter, trust the timeless elegance of the Classic Ivory Pillar Candle.
Okay, Maybe That is a Little Dramatic
But you get the idea. Stories Sell.
Perhaps you feel like you can’t even write a factual product description, much less a compelling story. That is where AI tools like ChatGPT can help. Both the standard product description and the story above were generated by AI.
This is just one of the many things you will learn when you register for the AI Money Machine Program. And it can generate 6x more sales for you. The next class starts soon, so register today.