Whole Earth Catalog – Behind the Cover of Corporate Empathy

Whole Earth Catalog
Whole Earth Catalog

One year ago today the vision to write and publish a book came into focus and began as a Word document saved on my laptop. The day prior I had no plans to write a book and had laughed at the suggestion of it by a friend just two months earlier. The physical and mental experience that I had in the months following was nothing short of amazing and thankfully resulted in my venture being successful.

Corporate Empathy is a short persuasive argument for why I believe that the private sector and for-profit companies are going to be where the solutions to most, if not all of our challenges in modern society are found. The journey that I took while researching and gathering notes was amazing in that everything I needed for each section, I found at just the right moment to use it – serendipity is an understatement!

Over the summer when the time had come to develop a cover I was completely lost. I had neither the time or money to develop something very professional but knew with my background in marketing I couldn’t afford to have it look unprofessional. I was also working on the closing chapters and had decided to re-listen to the beginning of the Steve Jobs audiobook for inspiration. As luck would have it, “Chapter 5, The Apple I: Turn On, Boot Up, Jack In…” provided exactly what I needed. The chapter reviews the unique cultural mix of people and movements in San Francisco and Silicone Valley in the late 1960s that lead to much of the innovation that continues to come from the area today.

Part of that review included the Whole Earth Catalog a favorite of Steve Jobs who in 2005 referred to it as “Google in paperback” long before Google. While I had at first considered the target audience for Corporate Empathy to be mostly millennials I wanted to ensure I addressed the generation that had made all this connectivity and growth of empathy possible. The cover of the first issue of the Whole Earth Catalog had included one of the first images of the Earth from space that illustrated that we are one single planet. I decided that much of my book was based on developing world-wide empathy and that using a similar cover would convey that idea while also being a nod to the generation that started the digital revolution.


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