BOOK REVIEW - Different Drummer

What if you could fix Washington? Would you try? What if you could fix Hollywood? What if someone wrote a book about how to do it? Erik Lokkesmoe has worked in both cities — as a press secretary in Washington and a film producer in Hollywood — and he has written a clever and insightful handbook for a better version of both. Different Drummer: Bold Thinking For the Rebellious Creative is a brand new book of proverbs for the modern creative. It’s short, punchy, and aptly-designed with lots of bright color and bold ideas. 

Lokkesmoe positions himself as just enough insider to know how things work, and just enough outsider to see why they don’t. He examines the financial systems and power structures in both industries and exposes their problems. And he finds common themes in politics, entertainment, marketing, and tech industries. 

Different Drummer is a collection of critiques about the old way to win votes or sell movie tickets, coupled with some pretty genius ideas for fixing it. The book reads like a series of short blog posts on scattered, but related topics: the power of art in shaping culture, the irony that Hollywood - a paragon of creative thought - is built on a system of conformity, the truth that the best ideas bubble from the bottom up and not the top down, the reason that the goal of marketing has shifted from awareness to action, and a reminder that art - like ministry - works best when it comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. In his pithy if somewhat scattered style Lokkesmoe does for creative endeavors what Seth Godin does for business. He speaks as a prophet against those in a race to the bottom. He announces a better way.  

At 103 stylized pages, Different Drummer is a very short read. Released this August, it is available in paperback and Kindle formats. If you enjoy Seth Godin or Steven Pressfield, you’ll resonate with Erik Lokkesmoe.