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Archive for October 17th, 2007


From Seth Godin’s blog:

Most industries innovate from both ends:

  • The outsiders go first because they have nothing to lose.
  • The winners go next because they can afford to and they want to stay winners.
  • It’s the mediocre middle that sits and waits and watches.

The mediocre (blank) companies, mediocre (blank) guys and the mediocre (blank) are struggling to stay in place. They’re nervous that it all might fall apart. So they wait. They wait for ‘proof’ that this new idea is going to work, or at least won’t prove fatal. (It’s the impulse to wait that made them mediocre in the first place, of course).

So, in every industry, the middle waits. And watches. And then, once they realize they can survive the switch (or once they’re persuaded that their current model is truly fading away), they jump in.

The irony, of course, is that by jumping in last, they’re condemning themselves to more mediocrity.

Read the entire post here. (The post is about the music industry. I took the liberty of adding the (blank) elements to make Seth’s argument more… universal.)

Along the same lines, Brains On Fire‘s Spike brings us this observation from CP+B’s Hoolpla:

“It astounds me how people are afraid of so many things, but mediocrity never seems to be one of them.”

Indeed.

From dictionary.com:

Mediocrity noun
Ordinariness as a consequence of being average and not outstanding [syn: averageness]

There’s a pretty good conversation on the topic over there. Check it out and feel free to join in.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone.

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David Burn gives us this (on AdPulp) –

Tim O’Reilly talks about the value of putting people from different disciplines in a room together:

“In thinking about the future of collective intelligence, we need to make sure that we not only think about systems that lead to convergence of opinion, but also ones that ensure divergence, and fresh inputs. The surest way I know to get this is not to pay attention to the breaking news in your own pond, but to find the next community over, and to create new cross connections.”

Clearly this is a page the ad industry needs to be on. It seems to me the perfect agency (that will never exist) would be comprised of the most eclectic mix of people possible—a dream team of organic farmers, cultural anthropologists, taxi drivers, vagabonds, poets, athletes, chefs, etc. Naturally, all of the above would be highly capable brand builders. That’s a given. It’s the unquantifiable X-factor that’s only found in the mix, that we need to go after.

Read the full piece.

Amen.

image: Dogs Playing Poker, by Cassius Coolidge

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PS: The vagabond thing took me by surprise, but why the hell not.

Noteworthy vagabonds:

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