Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two words to survive by

We hear a lot about the chasm that exists between those with a digital orientation and those who still cling to traditional ways. Yes, it has something to do with the generational gap (i discovered a recent hire in our interactive department was born the same year I graduated college, damn!), but I now know that age is a total cop out when it comes to playing in today's game. Age simply doesn't matter in the grand scheme. Seriously.

Take Brent Musburger. He's 70 years old but he's still considered among the upper echelon of broadcasters. He's still got game. Still plugged in. When asked by a younger colleague over dinner one night following a game they covered, "what is your secret for surviving this long in the business?" Brent replied with just two words.

"Stay interested."

In other words, even if you're not personally interested in things like the ShamWow, Lady GaGa, crowdsourcing or cloud computing, you have to figure out what it is that make all of these so interesting to others. What do they all mean? What trends are they signaling? What's the deeper insight into each and what is it teaching us in terms of culture and marketing? All this is crucial to success especially if you play in the innovation space.

In other words, if you want to stay relevant, stay interested. Because trust me, I've seen first hand that it doesn't take long for even young guns to turn into old farts if you don't take time to keep your head in the game.

Thanks, Brent.

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