Fortune

“I own you!” Six thousand people—sales executives, marketing pros, software developers, me—are shouting those same three, potent words at a colleague or complete stranger standing next to them. Faces are contorted. Fingers are being jabbed. For a full half-minute, while techno music blasts over the speakers, we try to outdo our partners in this exercise—tapping into a primal aggression that rarely makes an appearance in the corporate world.

“I owwwwwnnnnnn you!!!” As I snarl and holler at a woman more than a foot shorter than me while she points up and screams back, the awkwardness of the situation makes it hard for us to keep from laughing. But there’s something undeniably appealing about the experience: Unleashing so much raw energy, in however absurd a fashion, is seductive.

The setting for this mass act of catharsis is the third floor of the Moscone West exhibition space in downtown San Francisco. And…

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