“Be useful.” – Scott Adams
Scott Adams (@scottadamssays) is the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, which has been published in more than 2,000 newspapers in 57 countries and in 19 languages.
In my conversation with Scott, we cover topics ranging from the rise of Dilbert, to how he uses affirmations to impact stock market decisions, success with women, and building his career.
We also talk about Scott’s interest in hypnosis and its relationship to his writing process. Plus, we dive into his current fascination with Donald Trump.
You’ll also find out more about:
- Goals vs. systems, and how he has used the latter to get what he wants in life
- His first ever Dilbert paycheck
- The six dimensions of humor
- How he got into the best shape of his life at age 58, and much, much more.
It is a really fun conversation. Scott is one hell of a character and a hilarious guy.
Want to hear a podcast related to creativity? — Listen to my conversation with Ed Catmull, who is President and Co-Founder of Pixar and author of Creativity, Inc. Stream this episode below or right-click here to download:
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is your biggest struggle with the creative process? Which experts would you like me to interview about their methods? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
Wacom Cintiq monitor | Photoshop
F Minus | Pearls Before Swine
@ScottAdamsSays | http://dilbert.com | Calendar Tree
- How Scott started using affirmations [08:45]
- The beginning stages of Scott’s journey as a cartoonist [20:45]
- The process Scott uses to create his affirmations and the reasons they work [22:39]
- How God’s Debris came about [32:01]
- How Scott incorporates hypnosis into his life [35:25]
- Scott’s first hypnosis experience and why he started [39:15]
- Scott’s definition of hypnosis [45:50]
- How writing has helped his practice of hypnosis [48:41]
- Hypnosis, NLP, and Donald Trump [51:00]
- How the way Trump phrases his statements help him in the media [59:43]
- Scott’s view on goals vs. systems, and why each approach can work [1:02:39]
- Scott’s practical approach to dieting [1:12:29]
- The first time Scott was paid for Dilbert, his ‘day job,’ and where his first ideas came from [1:18:27]
- How he came up with the name Dogbert [1:21:51]
- The aspects of Dilbert that have changed over time and what the characters mean to Scott [1:23:07]
- Scott’s techniques to help Dilbert succeed and gain a competitive advantage over other cartoon strips [1:24:31]
- The tools and routines Scott uses to get in the creative mood [1:30:42]
- Scott’s morning routine [1:34:09]
- Scott’s six elements of humor [1:37:26]
- Other cartoons Scott respects and reads [1:41:26]
- How Scott got his voice back after identifying he had spasmodic dysphonia [1:42:36]
- The book Scott would recommend everyone read [1:51:30]
- When Scott thinks of the word “successful,” who is the first person that comes to mind? [1:58:58]
- The advice Scott would give his 30-year old self [2:01:54]
Posted on: September 22, 2015.
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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.
Scott Adams, (born June 8, 1957, Windham, New York, U.S.), American cartoonist who captured the malaise of the modern workplace in his comic stripDilbert.
Adams was valedictorian of his high-school class (because, he said, "the other 39 people in my class couldn’t spell valedictorian") and went on to earn a B.A. in economics from Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, in 1979 and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1986. From 1979 to 1986 he was employed at Crocker National Bank in San Francisco (while working as a teller, Adams was robbed twice at gunpoint). From 1986 until June 1995 he worked for Pacific Bell in San Ramon, California, in a number of jobs involving technology and finances.
The character Dilbert, a composite of Adams’s coworkers over the years, first appeared in Adams’s business presentations. The comic strip Dilbert was first published in 1989, and by the 21st century it had been syndicated to some 2,000 newspapers, was being read in 70 countries, and had an official Web site on the Internet. Its lead character, a computer programmer and engineer for a high-tech company with no apparent purpose, was buffeted daily by the illogical projects and business decisions of his clueless boss and the corporation’s equally inept management. Dilbert, readily recognized by his perpetually curled necktie, survived the indignities of his existence with the assistance of his pet, Dogbert, who often seemed to have his own self-serving agenda. A few years after Dilbert appeared, Adams began publishing his e-mail address in the strip. He personally read and answered each message, and he credited his correspondents with suggesting many of the situations that Dilbert encountered.
Adams published numerous books, including Dilbertcompilations and job-related works. He also wrote How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life (2013) and Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter (2017); the latter included his explanation for why Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election.