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January 5, 2023

You Want to Be a Purple Cow

Kevon Cheung

Founder & Head Teacher


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Every year, I set themes to give myself direction. In 2023, I have 2 main themes:

  1. I want to highlight more people around me. I don't want to talk about myself all the time. There are so many cool people - I want to grow together!
  2. I'd rather be a purple cow. Huh? Purple cow? Let me tell you more!

In Dec, I met a cool new friend because he sponsored my newsletter. His name is Yong Soo.

I think I have a decent "good people sensor". As we chatted about the sponsorship, we got to know each other more and eventually got on a call!

On the call, Yong Soo told me about Seth Godin's book, Purple Cow. The concept "you’re either remarkable or invisible" got stuck in my mind ...

So much that I couldn't stop using the term "I'm going to purple cow this" and "I'm going to purple cow that".

Let me share with you my plan to be remarkable in 2023.

I reflected on some of the things I did in 2022, and I was playing it safe.

For example, I did a branding project to upgrade Public Lab's image and I wanted to play it safe by having the symbol of people & community in my logo. Logical thinking right?

Another example was the free Build in Public bootcamp I run every quarter. I wanted to play it safe so I referenced someone I thought was "bigger than me". It was ... a bit too smart in a way that I felt overly promotional. Didn't like it.

So for my bootcamp this week, I decided to do it my way and jam-packed so much value. I felt I did a remarkable job, and 3 people immediately signed up to Build in Public Mastery. Crazy!

I was thinking about why we tend to play it safe by following what works for others. I thought maybe it is because sometimes being different attracts a special kind of feedback & criticism. So we're afraid. It is normal.

But getting into 2023, I want to STAND OUT!

I want to be the purple cow for everything I do, like:

  1. I am doubling down on my broccoli brand! This is my purple cow in the feeling I give.
  2. I am going to revise my website & emails so they are different! This is my purple cow in my messaging & communication.
  3. I'm going to see how I can create a purple cow lead magnet - no idea how but let's see.


I also want to help you find your purple cow. It comes down to:

  • [Step 1] You find 1 thing about you, e.g. your playfulness, transparency, attention to quality, customer service, a key thing important to you
  • [Step 2] Do the extreme. Don't settle for good. So that people go "WOW!"
  • [Step 3] Make it part of you and use it often. This way it becomes part of your identity. People will remember you.

To wrap up, I have some examples I want to share too!

πŸŽ— Branding

‍Marie takes the extreme in featuring her llama in her product and marketing. I can't forget it!

🧘 Presence

In any video calls with Cat's presence, I feel so calm and welcoming. She takes the extreme in standing out with her video presence . Super cool.

πŸ… Quality

There are so many interview-shows online, but Jay's Creative Elements STAND OUT. Just watch the first 2 mins, you'll know what I mean.

🎸 Personality/Energy

Justin's energy is contagious. His content is useful plus he is fun to watch, no wonder he is growing nicely.

I know it is hard to be different and take the bold path, but will you join me to be purple cows in 2023?

Let's do it :)!