risk vs. reward

Good bye 2008. Thanks for all the memories. Most of all, thanks for the giant kick in the ass. We may not like it, but many of us probably needed it. Things might be a little rougher for a while, and what you leave us with is a whole lot of uncertainty about the future, but you know what? We needed a strong dose of reality to knock some sense back into us and get us back on track.

So what did we learn this year?

We learned that many CEOs aren’t any more qualified to run companies than a sandwich artist. Perhaps less so.

We learned that entrusting your livelihood to said CEOs isn’t necessarily the best career decision in the world.

We learned that every job will end someday, somehow, and probably sooner than you’d like.

We learned that marketing and advertising have fallen asleep at the wheel when it comes to creating value.

We learned that relatively unknown technologies like social media can actually win presidential elections.

We learned that the pendulum indeed always swings back.

We learned that pull works better than push.

We learned that companies that refuse to adapt will fall behind and fail.

We learned that the same is true of people.

We learned that the signal is there, and you’ll find it if you learn how to sift through the noise.

We learned that greed, not ambition, is the enemy.

We learned that value is smarter and more sustainable than growth.

We learned that proper metrics matter.

We learned that tools are just tools. Nothing more.

We learned that in the end, it’s all really about people. Connecting with them. Listening to them. Helping them. Building value for them.

We learned that throwing money at a problem is still a lot of “experts'” favorite solution.

We learned that many experts are in fact total hacks.

We learned that there is tremendous value in asking why.

We learned that there are other people out there who, like us, believe there is a better way.

We learned that everyone can make a difference. That everyone must make a difference. That the alternative is more of the same epidemic incompetence that led our economy to the brink of collapse.

We learned that innovation and evolution happen with or without us… So it might as well happen with us.

We learned that years go by fast.

We learned that nobody has the answers. Especially not the people who claim to have them.

We learned that there is a better way, and that if we work together, we will change the world.

We learned that anything is indeed possible.

Yes we can.

To everyone who dropped by the brandbuilder this past year, thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Have a great New Year’s eve. 🙂

See you all next year!