Rules of the Game

A recent post on Seth Godin’s blog (Blended) argues that things are no longer the way they used to be :

Wearing a fine suit that fits you right was a great cue to others that you were successful and powerful and about to make something happen. Today, it’s just as likely that your potential partner is going to show up in a turtleneck and jeans.

Advertising used to be about expensive spreads in the New York Times magazine. Today, text-only Adwords ads on Google are the most likely to be paying for themselves.

Used to be that being public and traded on the NYSE was a sign of permanence and ethics. Today, after Enron and United and Xerox, it’s the previously unknown (and private) companies that just might be the best to do business with.

On the face of it, all this sounds real confusing.  As Godin asks :

So, how do we tell the good from the bad? In a connected world where people don’t have letterhead, don’t wear suits (don’t even own suits) work out of tiny rented office suites (or their living room) have a simple website and buy only Adwords, have an answering machine not a PBX, don’t have a receptionist or a sculpture out front… in that world, how do we tell?

But dig a little deeper, and fantastic possibilities emerge.

If size and stature and other such ‘old-world’ attributes are rapidly being replaced by ‘new-world’ values, the day is not far when being powerful or rich will not be a pre-requisite for success… when ‘biggest’ will not necessarily mean the ‘best’…

Already, I see signs of that happening.  Shareholders are recognizing the value of companies being small and nimble.  Organizations are increasingly preferring to work with smaller, and more responsive, agencies and suppliers.  And customers are becoming more aware of the harsh truths of some mega corporations. 

I am optimistic about these developments.  The way things are going, we seem to be inching closer and closer to the day when we will inhabit a world where the one who’s most deserving… will win. 

Wouldn’t that be nice?!