Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things They Are A Changing

While many like to argue that things aren't changing fast enough there are those who think things are changing too much and pushing hard and loud against it. I'm not talking politics today, although this certainly holds true for that as well, but the way we do business.

As the economy struggles to rebuild, the old rules don't necessarily apply, although many will tell you just the opposite, hanging on to my most favorite of laments,"But this is always the way we've done things." Those who are brave enough to think out of the box are not always supported. In fact they are often chided, told their way will never work and their doom is predicted before they go up to bat, especially by those who find it safer to hold on to the old ways.

But the fact is that change is a happening. Just because things have always been done a certain way does not mean it's still going to work. And just because someone or some new business enterprise decides to defy the laws of convention does not mean they are doomed. In fact it might be just the opposite.

Case in point is an interesting article by David Carr in The New York Times on The Awl. The Awl calls themselves a "web based" concern with the intention of encouraging "a daily discussion of the issues of the day."  They focus on the stuff everyone else doesn't pay much attention to but is still interesting and newsworthy.

The Awl did not skyrocket to over night success.  But two years later things are turning a corner. I  invite you to read the article in entirety for the details and to visit their site. But my point is they went against convention and it worked.

We live in a world of over analyzing, with too many claiming to be experts.  Too many more saying this is the way, the only way and if you don't follow that way, you're wrong, not to mention doomed to fail. We look for the problems instead of the solutions. We fail to pay enough attention to our instincts.

But things are a changing. Morphing. Evolving. It's one of those times in history where we can take the best of what we know and have learned and apply it in new and innovative ways.

I like what the founders of The Awl did. They created something based on what they knew their circle of friends would read. There were no high priced focus groups or infamous polling. No five year business plan.

They went with what I am sure was their instincts whether they realized it at the time or not.  They created a viable business doing what they like best. They could have failed and perhaps at another point in time they would have.  But not now.  'Cause things, they are a changing.

Maybe they were lucky. But as a boss I had early in my career used to say, there is no  luck. If you are in the right place at the right time,  doing what you are supposed to be doing you have created your own luck. These days that might mean going against convention.


Do you justify what you do by saying this is the way we've always done it?
Or do you defy convention?
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