Why you should care
Because game changers can come from any corner of our world — from hip-hop to books — and we’re hungry to have them all.
We’re fans of Twitter and Square as much as the next person. But though disruption might be the word of the day in business, life is full of welcome cataclysms — and many of them come from the most surprising people and places. Get deep into the stories of these people who remind us every day to demand more: more edge, more spice, more life.
Well, we couldn’t have picked a better game changer than, uh, the Game himself. The West Coast platinum star — 50 Cent’s rival; reality show star, Dr. Dre protégé — decided to come at himself all over again with the best kind of reinvention: time to get in shape. “My son called me fat,” says the newly trimmed-down father of two boys and a daughter. “He said, ‘You ain’t got no six-pack like Uncle Byrd.’ I looked at my younger brother Byrd and he was [shrugging his shoulders] like, ‘What you want me to do?’ I was like, ‘I have to do something … tomorrow.’” Do he did — in 60 days — giving birth to a fitness regime that’s become “a lifestyle, a people … it’s worldwide, man.”
Writers and tech entrepreneurs alike need a room of one’s own – but in the absence of a friendly writers’ incubator, the world might have missed out on one of the great novelists of all time: Harper Lee. Lee, a rather taciturn 30-year-old ticket agent for the British Overseas Airways Company, like many aspiring writers, had come to New York City to pursue her dream. But seven years in, it still seemed beyond her grasp. And without further help, and with no Kickstarter for another 53 years, that is perhaps where her dream would have ended. Until her friends jumped in to help her out: changing her game — and the whole world of books — for years to come.
That’s not an epithet you’d expect us to ascribe to a skinny, somewhat diffident Yale grad working for Forbes — but it’s what Zack O’Malley Greenburg is all about. Meet the king of the Cash Kings — the guy who literally wrote the book on Jay-Z and is about to do the same for Michael Jackson. Covering the biz of music is a whole new world for Forbes, but Greenburg will tell you it has hopped wholeheartedly onboard. The list brings a new face to the magazine affectionately (and critically) called “the capitalist tool” — and Greenburg is a new, young face for hip-hop. Talk about the power in the pen.
What better way to shake your own life up than to make a resolution? And stick with it — in a big way. Anthony Hamilton, formerly an illiterate football player, decided one day he had to do things a little differently: Not only did he learn to read in his 20s, but he also went the whole 9 yards, becoming a published writer, too. He has told his own story, as well as others’. “Education wasn’t stressed in my family,” he remembers. “I couldn’t understand why they could read … but I had the problem. Once I got on a college campus, I was going to the student center … and I’ll never forget, I heard a young lady read. And I had never heard anybody read like that. It sounded like music to me.” So he learned to hear the music — and make it, too.