Is It Now?
March 22, 2012 Leave a Comment
It would seem that about every 30 years or so we pass through an iconic decade. The roaring twenties. The post-war era of the fabulous fifties. And what’s been the latest obsession? The eighties. One could even argue this stretches back as far as the 1890′s. Don’t believe me? Go check out The Twilight Zone episode: “A Stop at Willoughby.”
Now there are certainly other memorable decades along the way (hello Mad Men) and each has its own style and flair. But this thirty year pattern has really started to take hold.
I realize some of you may look at that list and say, “Really? The 80s? Iconic?” Well we’re in the video business here, so let’s take a look at tv and film. What started with “The Wedding Singer” and VH1′s “I love the 80s” has led to “Transformers, Hot Tub Time Machine, Smurfs, Take Me Home Tonight” and a slew of other 80s remake or 80s inspired television and films. And that only scratches the surface of the fashion, musical and other 80s pop culture influences in today’s world.
Nostalgia is big business. I grew up in the eighties, and I’m first in line whenever they bring back something that was a big part of my childhood. I think it’s part of human nature to not only revisit your own life, but to be intrigued by the world as it was before you were in it. I for one am fascinated by what seems like the nearly utopian middle class America of the 1950s. And by how new and exciting the world must have felt in the 1920s.
So, my question to you: Is It Now? If my theory is correct, that would make: 1890s, 1920s, 1950s, 1980s… 2010s.
I recently proposed this hypothesis one night while out with friends, interestingly enough, at a midnight showing of “Back to the Future.” Their response, “yeah but, what’s so special about now?” We could get pretty philosophical at this point, and dig deep into making each moment memorable… but I’m going to stick to what I know.
What’s so special about now? How about the dawning of a new computer and communication age? The computer came home in the 80s, it’s leaving home with us now. What will be this decade’s icons? Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, Android and what I think we’ll all be talking about next year: Windows 8 Metro Tiles.
So what does all this have to do with video, hypermedia and the investment business? Well, maybe nothing. Or maybe everything. Web, mobile, hypermedia… it’s here to stay. And whether you think this is an iconic age or not, it is a revolutionary one. I made the most out of the 80s as a kid, and I plan to make the most out of this decade now. When I look at this revolution in technology, I see nothing but opportunity.
I’m not talking about the next digital arms race. I’m talking about a fundamental shift in how we interact, advise and do business with our customers. Are we going to sit on the sidelines and watch our competitors take advantage of this brave new world? Or are we going to embrace the amazing technology of this iconic age, and make the most of it?