March 17, 2010

Ten years earlier

Filed under: business,creativity,internet,marketing,music,personal,video — Erik Dobberkau @ 08:23

Everyone (including myself) feels a little stuck now and then, and sometimes, a (despaired) thought springs to mind: “If I were born ten years earlier, I’d have a better standing in my industry today.” The range of years may vary because every industry and organization seems to have their own, say, rhythm or evolution periods.

The point is, ten years earlier, it was much harder to get where you are now. What gets you here today didn’t get you anywhere 10 years ago. Good news: In ten years’ time, the stakes for the ones to follow will be even higher. For example: If you wanted to be a great Compositing Artist to work on Lord of the Rings ten years ago, you would have had to get started doing compositing in the early 90s. Back then, it was close to impossible to find a company that would even do this on a computer workstation, because NLE hadn’t even entered the mass market (and workstations that could do these kinds of effects cost as much as a spaceship. Well, almost.). Or in marketing, ten years ago direct mail, cold calls and door to door sales were king. Anybody want to try them today? Same with music. What used to be extreme and edgy ten years ago won’t impress as much today.

Back then it was the freaks, the people who were really passionate about their ideas, who would lean into it and do whatever it would take to turn vision into reality. This hasn’t changed. The only difference is they were pioneers, today there’s a field you have to surpass. It has become harder (but not impossible) to be pioneer from the very beginning. Most boundaries that used to be on your doorstep ten years ago are now somewhere out there. But they haven’t gone away. Now you have to find them before you can push them. That’s why expertise matters, and the only way to build your own expertise is to do what you’re passionate about.

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