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the pace and rate of change

September 10, 2008

How weird is it, and how lucky are we to be alive right now… at a time in the world when significant change is taking place literally every single day. Life has changed dramatically since I was in grade school. It will change dramatically in the next two years. It will change overnight tonight, while I’m sleeping.


Change – social, technological, scientific, cultural, political – feels like it used to take years to build. You could see it coming, feel it coming. People could go their whole lives and not experience the type of change that we are experiencing yearly, daily in today’s world.


Take the upcoming election for example: How many “firsts” can be broken in a single election? It’s not just one or two shifts, it’s multiple, and they are major. Breaking an age barrier, a gender barrier, a diversity barrier…Elections have been running a course for decades, and now suddenly, multiple paradigm shifts in the makeup of our country’s political representatives over the course of months.  I think it is fabulous. And on the technology product front – we live with no technology or basic phones for years and years and years… and now, product features are becoming bigger, better and faster every single minute. You can have your phone a week, and there will be a different, evolved version of it out there.  Again, I appreciate and love this change, and as an advertiser, can’t help but wonder what it means for the general American consumer and the future of this industry.


What effect does this have on the American consumer today? And the future American consumer? Can anything surprise them? Will we ever be able to use nostalgia or familiarity to sell a product again? If nothing is the same long enough to be tainted with nostalgia or become familiar? Will traditional media be too slow to share messages in a timely, relevant manner?


OR am I crazy? Maybe the paradigm shifts we are experiencing were as major and multiple in history – and I’m just too far removed to see it or feel it? I’m taking the history books and the 20/20 hindsight to make it feel like change was always slow and now is fast? Maybe it’s always been fast? Or maybe it is still slow, but I’m just in the heart of it?


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