Some of the Most Fascinating Humans In New York, Collected In One Place

At 21 years old, Brandon Stanton–the creative force behind the immensely popular photo blog Humans of New York–had flunked out of college, was kicked out of his parent’s home, was doing drugs, working at a dead end job at Applebee’s and living in his grandparent’s basement in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also convinced that he was going to write a bestseller and he wasn’t wrong.

'This guy was dancing for tips on the sidewalk. I asked him to try and put all his skill into a single move, and this is what I got.' Brandon Stanton, "Humans of New York"
‘This guy was dancing for tips on the sidewalk. I asked him to try and put all his skill into a single move, and this is what I got.’ Brandon Stanton, “Humans of New York”

When Brandon Stanton’s photo project of the Big Apple’s interesting characters grew beyond his original vision, he followed it straight to bestsellerdom.

[Our original article on Brandon Stanton ran in Fast Company last Fall. Recently Brandon was at SXSW for a book signing for his best-selling book, Humans of New York, and a talk on everything he’s learned about audience building, crying alone in his bedroom, the magic of social media and the difficulties of standing out in a world where everyone has something to “like” and “share.” Brandon himself says that he thinks he “has some special insight into building a large following around a new idea. But may have just gotten lucky, and could be completely full of shit…”]

At 21 years old, Brandon Stanton—the creative force behind the immensely popular photo blog Humans of New York—had flunked out of college (earning a combined score of zero on his five courses). Kicked out of his parent’s home, he was doing drugs, working at a dead end job at Applebee’s and living in his grandparent’s basement in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also convinced that he was going to write a bestseller.

Stanton described the unanimous reaction of his friends and family at the time: “They all said, ‘What the hell is wrong with Brandon? What a loser!'”

But now, not even a decade later, Stanton, 29, has eventually achieved his dream with over three million blog followers and a #1 bestseller. Continue reading “Some of the Most Fascinating Humans In New York, Collected In One Place”