Death of Chinese Daredevil Wu Yongning
Before the end of 2017, the world learned about Wu Yongning, a Chinese Rooftopper who plunged 62 storeys to his death while attempting to take an “extreme” selfie. The incident happened in one of the tallest buildings in Changsha, China.
Wu Yongning he hoped to a win a $15,000 prize money to fund his wedding and medical treatment for his ailing mother. This tragedy is an awakening on how far people will go for clicks and likes.
So why was he dangling off a building without a harness? It’s called Rooftopping. It’s a death-defying, insanely dangerous craze where young adults hang at the end of skyscrapers, cranes or bridges with no safety gear. They risk their lives in the name of bravery, money, and stardom.
People go to whatever lengths to drum up attention. The more creative, daring and controversial, the better. On platforms like YouTube, you see video compilations of fails, pranks, and gags that are borderline illegal, unethical, and dangerous. All for the sake of fame.
Have we entered the age where anyone with a camera and internet can become famous?
Being an “influencer” is no longer strictly for Hollywood celebrities, or popular athletes. You can be a blogger with a huge following, views and share count by posting pictures of your pet, food, or clothing.
What does this mean for startup and small companies?
You, too, can be an influencer in your industry. Of course, minus the dangers and controversy. Be helpful and add value to what you share. Educate others, provide new ideas, and solutions. Learn about your audience and more importantly, offer actionable advice.