I have a growing concern that much our always-connected culture has become so caught up in the now that we're losing valuable lessons from the past and forgetting the importance of having a vision to work towards in the future.
This started to really take shape a while back when Marcus noted, "... I also feel that we’re loosing [sic] history - that is to say that, by constantly documenting everything we do, or everything that happens - that the life span of history has become nothing more than '2 minutes ago from the web'. That frightens me. I don’t know why it does, but it does."
Much of the globe's economies are in shambles because people got caught up in how to make millions tomorrow instead of looking at how to build wealth for the long term. And as Jon Steel discussed, CMOs have become focused on what they can do in the two to three years they'll be in their jobs instead of what makes the most sense for the long haul of the company that they're creating mediocre marketing at best. Further, the rise of social media has spawned new businesses with such a narrow focus on launching and "iterating" that they have no clue where the business is going nor how to make money from it if it takes off.
Then there is the "I said/thought/wrote about it first" mentality of so many in social media. People are so focused on being the first to say something about the last five minutes that they aren't looking to history to apply the wisdom of the past to today's problems. It seems everyone is forgetting that human nature isn't changing. It's just the way we're communicating that is.
I brought this up when I spoke to the students at MCAD a couple weeks ago in Tim Brunelle's Future of Advertising class. I asked them to look into the great advertising minds of the past and take what wise men like David Ogilvy and Howard Gossage have shared and think about how those things translate to advertising today.
Call me crazy, but it just seems to me that we can accomplish so much more if we don't spend our time having to relearn things we could have avoided by looking past the now. It also seems like we could create better chances for success by thinking past tomorrow for where we want things to go instead of just jumping in and saying we'll figure it out as we go...