“Pig Pen, this here is Rubber Duck. We ain’t gonna pay no toll…”
CW McCall, “Convoy”
Who would have dreamed, in the 1970s, that anything would ever replace the CB radio? Some readers will, like me, be old enough to remember the CB craze. We will all remember, for instance, that the “main channel” on our CB radio was channel 19.
“Breaker 19, this here is the CopyGuy, with a newsflash: before that Hollywood actor named Reagan becomes president, CB radio will be a fad from the past…”
Fast-forward to just around the time CB radio had completely faded from the American consciousness, and you’ll discover a curious new technology called the compact disc just making its debut on the market. There were scoffers. There were purists who said nothing sounded as good as vinyl (there still are, but that’s another post). And there were plenty of people to point out that nobody in their right mind would replace an entire record collection just to go buy the same music on CD. Those people were wrong.
Fast forward again. Apple introduces a service called iTunes. There are scoffers. There are purists who say there’s nothing like having the liner notes you get inside the case of a CD. And they’re plenty of people pointing out that nobody in their right mind will replace an entire CD collection is to go buy the same music for the iPod. Those people were also wrong.
Just to be clear: those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Change is constant. Industries appear and vanish in the space of a decade. Those who win are those who anticipate the trends, and get in front of them. Distinction worthy of note: it is much easier to predict trends and get in front of them that it is to be the creator of said trends. Much, much, much easier.