Was Jesus the first adman or the first startup?

I used to think Jesus was the first adman.

The loaves and fishes, the water into wine, the raising of the dead. These were all incredibly impressive real-life advertisements. Mind you, advertisements that were remarkable enough to spread of their own volition.

Advertisements that promised not just whiter teeth and fuller hair but - wait for it - eternal life. Whoa! That’s a pretty great product promise. I’m struggling to think of a better one.  

The cross? Best logo known to man or woman, sinner or saint. (Seriously, it puts the Nike swoosh to shame. And that’s saying something.)

It’s a logo that billions of people happily encase in gold and wear around their necks without any sense of irony. The means by which they murdered their own salvation rests on their own flesh, above their heart. Amazing!

Jesus didn’t believe in bullet points and checklists and laws. He believed in stories. He walked around and told stories that changed what ordinary people thought possible. He told stories that allowed people to transform. That’s how revolutions happen.

But lately I’ve been seeing a lot of parallels between Jesus and startups.

+ Jesus raised the dead. Startups raise money. 

+ Jesus performed miracles. Startups perform miracles.

+ Jesus overthrew money changers. Startups overthrow bankers. 

+ Jesus pitched a better future. Startups pitch a better future.

+ Jesus favored the subscription revenue model and called it tithing. Startups favor the subscription revenue model and call it pricing.

+ Jesus had a standout origin story as the son of God. Startups need a standout origin story.

+ Jesus challenged and disrupted the status quo. Startups challenge and disrupt the status quo.

+ Jesus turned unbelievers into believers. Startups turn unbelievers into believers.

+ Jesus overcame hurdles and challenges. Startups overcome hurdles and challenges.

+ Jesus delivered us from evil. Startups want to deliver us from evil.

+ Jesus went global. Startups think global.

+ Jesus resurrected. Startups pivot.

Hmmm, maybe it’s time to invest in startups that offer spiritual salvation.

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