Gradually and then suddenly

Love this piece from seth godin on the way we look at the present. Found via martin rue

Gradually, because every day opportunities are missed, little bits of value are lost, customers become unentranced. We don’t notice so much, because hey, there’s a profit. Profit covers many sins. Of course, one day, once the foundation is rotted and the support is gone, so is the profit. Suddenly, apparently quite suddenly, it all falls apart.

It didn’t happen suddenly, you just noticed it suddenly.

The flipside works the same way. Trust is earned, value is delivered, concepts are learned. Day by day we improve and build an asset, but none of it seems to be paying off. Until one day, quite suddenly, we become the ten-year overnight success.

This is the way it works, but we too often make the mistake of focusing on the ‘suddenly’ part. The media writes about suddenly, we notice suddenly, we talk about suddenly.

Gradually and suddenly, all part of the present. But as Seth points out only suddenly gets the attention.

If I could get a pound for every time someone says to me, so what do we get out of it? They want a sudden effect not a gradual effect. Long lasting things take time.

Today we had a meeting with some lovely women from Abandon Normal Devices. They were recommended to us by someone I had met when I met a more formal meeting with guy who had come to the Quantified Self Manchester group (next meet-up is tomorrow by the way). Ok thats pretty crazy to follow but the point is, its a gradual thing which unfolds, grows and morphs into something special. Gradually and then Suddenly…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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