Find Your Weirdos

A guide to connecting with the customers who share your niche fascinations—and earning their wholehearted patronage

We want to help you find better ways to connect with your customers. There is SO much noise out there. Especially on the internet. Standing out is exasperating, and keeping people’s attention is even harder.

This is not about reaching the most people, it’s about connecting with the right people, your future fans and champions.

This collection was developed and curated from September to December, 2020 by the friendly weirdos at &yet. In spring 2021, we asked you to meet our weirdos.

a truly unique museum, filled with all your favorite things

Exit through the gift shop

A few parting thoughts on the joys (and practicality) of short-term projects, and questions to ponder on your way out

As we draw Find Your Weirdos to a close, we invite you to reflect on the power in taking a seasonal approach, the clarity in focus, and the freedom in adaptation.

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Show, don’t tell

When we want our customers’ attention, often our first instinct is to start talking, pitching, and explaining. What if instead, you invited them to have an experience, and make up their own minds?

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a website decorated like someone’s welcoming home

Weird is practical

Focusing your business on weirdos can seem like a risk, but is it?

It may seem counter-intuitive to narrow your focus to a very specific group of people, but when it comes to building customer loyalty, predictable revenue, and truly great products, nothing beats a weirdos-first strategy.

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an open suitcase full of colorful and unique items like a instruments, collectibles, and hobby items

A generous business

Thoughts on approaching profit and growth with generosity

Finding your weirdos is a generous endeavor, but you can’t give everything away for free. Is it possible to be a generous for-profit company?

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line drawings of various gifts and potted plants

The quiet giant:how crafters and DIY-ers made Pinterest bigger than Twitter

When it first launched in 2010, Pinterest had five hundred users, and the founders knew every one of them personally. The path from there to their first million users was record-breakingly fast, and stemmed from the company’s investment in an already tight-knit community — one that immediately understood the appeal of collecting, curating, and sharing ideas for inspiration.

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four push pins made of beautiful, tactile materials like paint, florals, wood, and cable knit

There and back again

Tracing the unique paths of your weirdos

Amidst the cacophony of commercialism, every now and then we see someone who stands out from the crowd — quieter, perhaps, and intently focused on a pursuit that draws us in. It’s the purity of this single-minded devotion, guest contributor Guan Un writes, that inspires us to want to be in their orbit.

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map with a path laid out between various coffee-related landmarks like espresso, latte art, beans, and pourover

What does this mean?!

How &yet used creative technology to build a unique adventure game, fostering a sense of weirdness and wonder leading up to &yetConf

The text-message based game Textcapades served many purposes for &yetConf, not the least of which was providing an exciting and weird shared experience that gave attendees an immediate source of bonding once the conference started.

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a row of cafeteria tables recede into the distance with text message bubbles saying “Please sit with us” and “All weirdos welcome”

Come one, come all!

Helping your weirdos to feel welcome and included in ALL their glorious forms

Weirdos come in all shapes and sizes. How can we help ensure they feel like they are accepted and empowered, just as they are?

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A woman guides a very large robot to a collection of tiny doors and an archway it may not fit through.

Not just any notebook

Why Moleskine thrives against all odds

When inspiration strikes, just about any writing (or drawing) surface will do — and yet the Moleskine notebook still has a devoted following. Why? We think it’s because they understand what creative people are really reaching for when they pull out their notebooks.

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a white-gloved hand holds up a fancy platter, its cloche open revealing a Moleskine notebook labeled “Craft”

Where the weirdos roam

Why weirdos are easier to find and understand than any other breed of human

It’s easy to create a “customer persona” or a “user journey” to inform your product, marketing, and sales decisions. It’s much more challenging to actually understand the person you’re doing all of this for. There are two ways that focusing on weirdos makes this much easier.

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two buffalo stand in some grass, one has huge plastic googly eyes

Making an honest buck

The link between your weirdos, truth-telling, and business longevity

While not all feedback is created equal, some business decisions rely on gathering clear, focused input. How do you find the right people to listen to, and ensure you hear from them at the right moments? There are two key factors.

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a row of phones in a customer service center with a single red phone on a podium, lit by a spotlight, and labeled “Weirdos”

Don’t call it a veggie burger

Why Impossible Burger, the “plant-based meat” company, chose to focus first on the most discerning carnivores they could find

When the Impossible Burger launched, it was an instant hit among top chefs, foodies, and eco-conscious millennials. But they weren’t just trend-hopping; there were sound business reasons behind their decision to make these folks their priority.

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A field guide to finding your weirdos

The defining characteristics of the rare, untamed weirdos who make your business thrive

Where do loyalty and devotion come from? To begin with, we go deep.

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a fish, alligator, and frog dancing ballet

Why we love weirdos

They’re far more than lovable eccentrics — they’re the key to traction and long-term growth

While we love weirdos for their own sake, we’ve also discovered that there are business benefits to embracing your weird — and embracing your weirdos. Here are just a few.

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a woman medidates, her hair is a dreamlike sky of stars and objects

Camping with customers:how LEGO rediscovered its true north

In 2003, LEGO was in trouble — to the tune of an $800 million debt. What saved the beloved toy company? A weirdos-first strategy.

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a person sits upon an almost-built house, brick in hand

Look for the tinkerers

The secret weirdo messages embedded in Heroku’s card decks

Heroku wanted to create a gift for their fans that would make them feel truly seen. To do that, they had to make visible the invisible qualities that tied them together.

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a rabbit gasps as hanafuda playing cards fly from a magic hat