“..most cool things are done when people just do what they like, and its not too thought out, its not too calculated.”
I remember the first time I walked past ‘The Good Copy’ on Johnston St in Collingwood, Melbourne. I knew there was something interesting and different about the space and it pricked my curiosity so much that I had to go in for a look.
Walking around the shop and looking past the front desk I saw many things I thought were cool, but I could not fit them together into a coherent whole: books on writing I had never heard of; skateboarding magazines; clothing accessories; and a number of people working at the desks like they were in a coworking space.
I walked out with a wry smile and without talking to anybody, thinking that I have no idea what I was just inside of. But it was fascinating and unique and cool.
A year later I am interviewing the Creative Director of The Good Copy at their new digs, just down the road from where they first set-up. And in talking to Max Olijnyk, all the pieces finally started to fit together.
The Good Copy is part library, book shop, school, holder and organiser of events, and publisher. The central idea holding all these things together is to celebrate and create good writing, particularly good copywriting.
At its core The Good Copy is a copywriting agency providing copywriting services to other businesses. This is the part of the business that sustains the good work it does to promote and educate and bring together a community of writers who want to communicate their ideas well, without distraction through errors of punctuation and grammar.
(Even as I write this I realise the irony of the errors of punctuation and grammar I am probably making in this post!)
It is clear that this is a business that has found its place and voice through following what the founders thought was good and interesting and cool. Diverse influences include skateboarding and online magazines on city life, and the result is something that does not follow a proven formula, and is authentic and impacting in its expression.
Almost all of us read and write in some form, whether it be emails, text messages, books, letters or journaling. And by making it fun and funny to learn the rules of writing, The Good Copy hope to help all of us improve the way we exchange ideas.
During our conversation Max reveals:
– his favourite punctuation rule;
– how interesting and profitable new directions for the business naturally emerge as The Good Copy harnesses and grows the talents of their people;
– his thoughts on disrupting writing and communication education; and
– his thoughts on disrupting the means of publishing.
Max’s tip for becoming a subtle disruptor is to start small with a financially viable experiment, and without compromising your personal integrity.
“..do what you like doing and what you understand…and what you think is right.”
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