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Truths no one knows but you

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h1The world is not going to end Saturday.

Ken Sandy, vice president product, SAY Media

French philosopher René Girard is best know for his theory of "mimetic desire" which states the reason we want things is because we want to imitate other people. We may all believe in the uniqueness of our own endeavors, but according to Girard, our motivation to obtain and create is always provoked by the desire of another person.

In a recent article in Business Insider, Peter Thiel, founder and CEO of PayPal, president of Clarium Capital, and Silicon Valley clairvoyant is profiled for his uncanny ability to predict the winds of change in the Valley and steer clear of bubbles that inevitably burst. Unsurprisingly, Thiel was a student of Girard's at Stanford, which the author credits with helping him to "understand and anticipate" investment bandwagons.

Thiel's contrarian business acumen has reportedly led him to asking one key question of people before deciding to work with them: "What is it about the world that you know is true that everyone else doesn't understand?" We thought it would be fun to ask some of our colleagues that same question. Here's what they said:

"There are no boundaries and nothing to fear. Life vs. death is a pretty small distinction."

Jane Pratt, editor-in-chief,, SAY Media

"Seeing around corners takes a lot of practice."

Jonathan Nelson, chief executive officer, Omnicom Digital

"Permission is not granted. It is taken."

Troy Young, president, SAY Media

"Every time you realize that you have crossed a line, you are two miles past it. If you think you've 'just' crossed a moral line, you crossed it long ago. If you think you have 'just' said something arrogant or self-serving, you have long ago crossed the line into arrogant and self-serving. The only fix to this problem is to never approach the line. And that is really hard work. Because it is incredibly tempting to approach the line but you will always judge wrong."

David Hornik, partner, August Capital

"We weren't meant to take this journey solo."

Steve Katelman, vice president, strategic partnerships, Omnicom Group

"The most valuable resource is also an inexhaustible"

Ted Rheingold, general manager, Dogster and Catster, SAY Media

"Most people are aesthetically challenged."

Marc Ruxin, executive vice president and chief innovation officer, Universal McCann

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"The world is not going to end Saturday."

Ken Sandy, vice president, product, SAY Media

"A lot of my understanding of the world comes, oddly enough, from distance running. It's taught me the value of persistence and the possibility of virtually anything. My current favorite quote about it comes from this crazy ultra legend. His advice: 'It never always gets worse.'"

Brian Morrissey, editor-in-chief, DIGIDAY: DAILY

"Marketing doesn't work."

Anthony Volodkin, chief executive officer, Hype Machine

"Living in the moment is an incredibly fine art that few truly master. It requires skill, focus and a mix of purity and selfishness. And is something I wish I were better at."

Erin Olsson, vice president, marketing, SAY Media

"Everything that you need to know in life -- you know by age 10."

David Cohen, executive vice president and global digital officer, Universal McCann

"In dealing with other people or looking at the world the most important thing to realize is that every single person is comparing him or herself to other people and is not 100% secure where they are, despite appearances. Having this kind of empathy toward human psychology can be revolutionary."

Mandy Stadtmiller, entertainment reporter, New York Post

"Attitude is part and the secret: you and only you create your own."

Michael Hess, senior vice president, global sales, SAY Media

"Beauty from function never ages."

Alex Schleifer, partner and creative director, Sideshow

"Reach & Frequency of ad delivery cannot be accurately modeled when there is dynamic ad insertion."

Brian Monahan, executive vice president and managing partner, IPG Media Lab

"Everyone's story matters to at least an audience of one."

Michael Sippey, vice president, artist development, SAY Media

"Inevitability. Most people hold onto hope – but in times good and band, inevitably EVERYTHING changes. In the face of anxiety, depression, tragic loss, misfortune, etc, it helps to acknowledge that whatever you are thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing will inevitably be different."

Ed Urgola, director, solutions, SAY Media

Have one of your own? Share it with us in the comments.

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