There’s a funny thing about people who make predictions. History continually corrects them!
“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communications. The device is inherently of no value to us.”
Western Union internal memo, 1876.
Being in a creative business means keeping an open mind. It means looking at things from different sets of lenses so as not to miss the opportunity that lies before us. Clients pay us for innovative thinking and creative ideas that cut through the clutter. Whether the economy is good or bad we cannot lose sight of this.
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
What’s important is to keep moving forward. The economy has been bad more than four years, with no predictable end in sight. The pundits on both sides of the political spectrum, economists from every major university, and all the elected officials who can get their hands on a microphone continue to make predictions.
“The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’ the idea must be feasible.”
A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.
Sometimes life deals us a terrible blow. It is truly in the worst of times that we come to appreciate not only the great fruit life offers but also the subtleties of normalcy, a simple leisurely coffee, an hour of playtime with your child, or a moment with your spouse that reminds you why you got married in the first place.
“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.
As we look to the future it’s imperative to not lose sight of the fact that this is only temporary. Economies, countries, and, for that matter, the world operate on timelines and cycles that cannot be seen nor accurately predicted. Just ask the weatherman next time a hurricane is coming to tell exactly where will landfall be.
“640K ought to be enough for any body.”
Bill Gates, 1981.
The economy will eventually come around. Companies large and small will begin to grow again. There will be opportunities for employment, and innovative thinking will be rewarded.
And there is one thing I do know for sure . . .
“This too shall pass.”
King Solomon, The richest man in the world. B.C.