Friday, December 12, 2008

All that glitters is...

...not gold. That's right, is not gold!

Glitter is a distraction and mental occupier, it is rarely reality. I have found over the years that the more the lights blink, the more noise it makes, the more buzz and glitz produced...the less the profits and potential really exist. By the time the lights are on you are late to the party.

We are creatures whose brains are based on the attention to change. For the couple of million years we evolved in being attentive to the snap of a twig or the flicker of a color in the tall grass was all that kept us alive. Fight or Flee is a core operating paradigm still in our brains. Ever wake up in the middle of the night because of a sound? Did you happen notice that your adrenaline was already flowing, the cognitive part of your brain, the consciousness, was the last part to come on line, you were already to take action when your eyes opened. You hear 300 to 3000 Hertz best because that is the frequency range of the sound braking twigs and rustling grass. You see more shades of yellow because living in tall yellow grass you had to see tiger stripes from dried grass in an instant. You are sensitive to change, it is the basis of our brains, all this thought stuff we do came much later in the brain's development, in the last 1% of our evolution. Change is what our brains are all about.

Ever notice that one of the first questions out of most people's mouths is "what’s new?"

We are driven by fads, the presentation of newness. We love it! Look at our response to hype. How about movies and music, the delivered product is typically a let down compared the promise of something new. What is greater than a new love?

I am not saying you should be cynical (which you should) but that this is the pattern of life, newness and change is attractive because we are wired for it (I am old enough to have seen bell-bottom become popular for the third time that I know of so I have to assume it happened many times before I became aware of them in the sixties). Virtually everything has happened before but it is new to us the first time we experience it, thus it is exciting, it makes our brains perk up and focus, dream, and for a moment we are more alive than we have been in a while. The habituation sets in, we get used to it, it become normal and dull. Thus are we wired to think.

So what is the point for an entrepreneur you ask?

Simple, don't fall for newness but use it to your advantage, and do so without shame. After all, it is life's only consistent pattern besides death and taxes.

Barry Thornton is a Technology and Marketing Guy

No comments: