Change is Volcanic

Open-ended, not so well-written blog post of what I started my day off today thinking.

Jack Meyers calls himself a media futurist. He wrote in 1998:

"Change is volcanic. Volcanoes lull those nearby into a false sense of security. Their constant rumblings and small, uneventful eruptions convince those living nearby that they can manage and survive. But there is no security. When the top blows and the lava flows, everything it touches is either destroyed or changed forever."

Today at he writes that we're in the "relationship age" and that the election of 2008 was a volcanic event: "our nation and world are changed forever."

He writes ( or predicts or scares or whatever a media futurist really does) further:

"If you do not believe your business is about to be destroyed or changed forever by the events of the next two years, you are dangerously mistaken
. You can play by the established rules or take advantage of the opportunities this economic downturn is creating and adapt quickly to the future. The solutions are not, however, apparent in economic models, on Wall Street, on Madison Avenue or in Silicon Valley. Your future depends on your vision and your ability to define it, share it, communicate it and offer hope to those who you can motivate to join you on your mission."

Hmm. I think. I never knew I needed a vision? All I really wanted to do was pay my bills as a photographer working for magazines. Hmmm, I think, "business is about to be destroyed?" Whoa. That's pretty big. And I can't really argue. The handwriting has been on the proverbial wall. I'm certainly experiencing a lack of assignments and reduced budgets when we I do get an assignment. And then we all did read Vincent Laforet's treatise about the state of editorial photography entitled "The Cloud is Falling" (Laforet advises that there will always be a need for wedding photographers.) And then we've all read David Carr's recent "Mourning the Decline of Old Media" in the media section of the NY Times. And we know how easily we can be replaced if we don't sign that work-for-hire agreement. And we are well aware of the recent failures and closings of the photographer-friendly stock photography sites Digital Rail Road and Photoshelter.

I even keep up with "Magazine Death Pool."

I just didn't think about a vision and a mission, let alone, have a vision or a mission.

Why then don't I just quit freelancing and go get a real job? My friend John Bruce says having a job is like having a vacation. "Vacation," I reply," I don't really take vacations either." Working is too much fun.

1 comment:

JB said...

The age of relationships!

Gifford Pinchot III will speak at Green Festival San Francisco on the topic - "Health, Happiness and Sustainable Business: The Happo/Dammo Ratio"
The purpose of the economy is to support our health, wellbeing and happiness. Unless we find ways to produce substantially more happiness with far less stuff and damage, our civilization is doomed. But this is a happy task, a joint project of sustainability experts, entrepreneurs, consumers, citizens, corporate innovators, academics, legislators and policy wonks. Given that most of happiness comes from relationships and most of consumption uses stuff symbolically rather than for its intrinsic value, it won’t be hard to make 1000 fold improvements in the ratio of happiness to stuff. These innovations will often be very popular, cost-effective and profitable. In this direction lies hope and true prosperity.