Recently we read about a new media company that aims for the elusive market known as millennials. Nothing new there, except for the fact that its name, OZY Media, has some decidedly highbrow origins.
Watson said the name of the company came from one of his favorite poems—Shelley’s Ozymandias—which tells the story of an ancient king whose broken statue now sits forgotten in the desert. Some have taken the poem to mean that even mighty kings are eventually forgotten, but Watson said the lesson he takes from it is that you have to dream big. And there is no question OZY is dreaming big.
OK, so maybe it’s not the interpretation of the poem we were familiar with, but dreaming big is undeniably cool, and poetry is also awesome. You might say poets were the original optimized artisanal craftspeople — of words.
In fact, we propose that more media companies, and more apps, take their names from famous poems. And if they get the poem’s message a little butchered, well, OK. As long as the butchering is grass-fed and local and sounds a whole lot more uplifting than the author intended. We all need to keep disrupting the flow, after all, for the sake of the millennials. Here are a few more ideas for companies waiting for the right entrepreneur to take the reins:
Idle King media. Inspired by Tennyson’s “Ulysses”, this is a media company aimed at retired global business leaders — who want to restlessly consume media like the corporate kings they once were: striving, seeking deals, finding profit, and never yielding on the stock market.
My Last Duchess: the blog. Inspired by Robert Browning’s mind-blowing poem about a noble woman painted on a wall, this hip website will target feminist millennials who love super-positive high art. Creepy trolls definitely not welcome!
“Mending Wall,” the app. Good fences totally do make good neighbors, like Robert Frost once said. This is an app that helps the urban hipster (or “yuccie“?) who does not want to deal with the nuisance of the neighborhood he’s actually improving (hello!) with his espresso-only coffee shop and high-end boutiques. Want to report loud neighbors to the cops? Change zoning laws? Support the landlord in a dispute? This app makes it all as simple as a swipe.
Dream Deferred: the app. What does happen to a dream deferred, was such a great and troubling question posed by Langston Hughes. This sleep-tracking app will monitor your R.E.M. stages and give you a personalized report each morning, to make sure none of your dreams dry up like a raisin in the sun. It even comes with a dream journal that connects to the Cloud, which is what you’ll be floating on when you try it.
Still I Rise: the app. While we’re on the subject of sleep and #optimizing our #health, Maya Angelou’s inspiring poem about getting up early in the morning to track extra miles on her Fitbit was the driving concept behind this combination alarm clock and motivational step log.
Lady Lazarus Media. Sylvia Plath’s poem about rising from the dead and enjoying vintage lampshades inspired this concept. Cultural nostalgia is a surefire formula for tons of viral web traffic. Lady Lazarus will resurrect (get it?) seemingly dead trends from the ’80s, ’90s, and today and turn them into awesome #shareable gifs.
Waste Land Media. T.S. Eliot was totally right about waste lands being bad — because he lived way before the age of composting. This new website will be aimed at the kombucha-swilling, compost-tossing, sustainability crowd, who are turning what once looked like waste into a livable land. Om Shantih Om, am I right?
Not In Vain Media. Emily Dickinson once wrote a lovely poem called “Not In Vain” about how it’s the little things that count in life. But it’s the title that got us thinking that feminism doesn’t have to preclude vanity! A little vanity never hurt anyone — in fact, it can be really empowering. A site devoted to feminist makeup tutorials is exactly what Emily would have wanted; I mean, have you seen her white dresses? She understood sartorial branding centuries before her time.