Making things up as you go, and why I love my job

When I speak to groups of college students, I can’t help sounding a little frenetic. Concepts and cases spill out of my mouth, and I never fail to leave the classroom elated. Just as surely, a few audience members appear — as they file out — to be feeling the same way. (It could simply be because I stopped yammering!)

I try to wrap up each presentation, whether it’s on database marketing, or web marketing, or new media, with a story from my childhood. A topic that fascinated me was the advent of television. I would read the memoirs of TV pioneers. (My favorite was Dick Cavett’s. He continues to spin great yarns in his blog. A notable recent blog was on his encounters with William F Buckley, Jr., on the screen and off.)

Back when Cavett was a struggling comedy writer, he suddenly found himself replacing Jack Parr on the fledgling Tonight Show, which topped the ratings in its time slot as the first nationally-broadcast talk show. The rest is history. It is also history steeped in the possibilities of a humming, glowing box that was new to households everywhere.

I tell the students how fortunate they are to be born in a time when other revolutionary technologies are emerging (which, together, become a sort of digital connectedness). They, and I, are part of a exciting adventure. This came to mind as I read this, by MediaPost’s Search Insider columnist Gord Hotchkiss (registration required):

We’re building a new world up as we go. More correctly, a new world is emerging organically from the efforts and thoughts of millions of people. It’s a world defined in an ethereal middle space, a world of mind-spawned musings and accomplishments, shared and propelled one packet at a time. We’re not discovering anything, we’re building something entirely new. At any given moment, hundreds of millions of us are making it up as we go along. It’s a Darwinian experiment on a grand, grand scale.

Can you describe to me a better job than being a part of that?

Published by Jeff Larche

With a background that includes direct marketing and customer relationship management (CRM), Jeff Larche brings an unusual approach to his work. What these other two disciplines have in common is database marketing, and they continue to strongly influence his work as marketing technology leader.

4 replies on “Making things up as you go, and why I love my job”

  1. Very powerful. And fortunate times of disruption have we–I love that we’re “making it up as we go” and I feel both exhilarated to be a part of it as I feel responsible to care for it…after all, precedent-setting times are these.

    Now, how much better does it get than that?

    (yeah, that question was rhetorical 😉

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