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Pirates of old held reputations for treacherous villainy, yet, according to marketing expert Sam Conniff Allende, they were also progressive social innovators. In this excerpt, Allende draws parallels between 18th-century pirates and today’s radical disrupters. Although Allende ignores pirates’ more barbaric tendencies, which make them less-than-ideal role models, getAbstract recommends his fun overview of pirate qualities – attributes the modern world needs.


Black Sam Bellamy, the so-called Prince of Pirates, championed diversity and equality. Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, embodied “global pirate branding.” He terrified foes by setting off fuses in his beard, surrounding himself with sulfurous smoke. Black Caesar, a famous black pirate, was one of many who set slaves free long before abolition. And Anne Bonny was a formidable female pirate. In fact, in the early 1700s, a pirate ship was pretty much the only place women could find absolute equality. These characters were “the [Sheryl] Sandbergs and the Steve Jobses of their time.”

Pirates manifest in times of economic disruption and market...

About the Speaker

Sam Conniff Allende is the founder of Livity, a marketing company.

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