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Yesterday. All my troubles seemed so far away.

Wow. Yesterday was an interesting day. It started with a coffee meeting with a local architect who’s a friend. We discussed how the architecture industry is getting hammered. Then I ran into an old friend who’s a photographer. We discussed how the photography industry is getting hammered. Then a friend posted a link on Facebook about how the advertising industry is getting hammered. Then another friend posted a link on Facebook about how the design industry is getting hammered. Oy vey. I feel like going out and getting hammered.

On the other hand, I’m positively optimistic. If businesses are to compete, they must become more innovative. If they are to become more innovative, they must become more creative. If they are to become more creative, they must begin to appreciate creativity better. They have to value creative culture and creative people. They have to learn to identify, recruit, hire, train, manage, sustain and retain creative people.

But we, the grasshoppers, have to let go of some old baggage ourselves. If we continue to battle 20th centuries bogeymen, we’re going to lose 21st century opportunities.

In one of the Facebook posts I noted above, the writer (a damned talented guy) closes his argument with this:

Well, this time let’s dissolve back to the year 1519. (Wavy lines, wavy lines.) Cortez and his marauders have come to pillage and destroy Mexico. The way forward is unknown. The size of the enemy, unknown. So to rally his men, the dude gives a pep talk of just three words. “Burn the ships.”

He removes the option of going back.

What if you burned your ships? What if you had to advertise a brand and you couldn’t use TV and print? Don’t ask me. I don’t know the answer. But I do know it’s probably time to burn the ships and step into the jungle.

My advice? If you see ships, you’re hallucinating; there are no ships. They sunk a decade ago.

Look at the opportunity ahead of you. The significant business opportunity of embracing creativity, design and innovation. Figure out how to multiply your skills and talents— share, engage, lead— become a catalyst. The artifact is dead; be the ‘experience’ you talk about so much.

And quit whining.

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