By Jim McCarthy May 5, 2011 0 comments

Preference is Perishable. Keep Your Mindset Fresh

It’s amazing to me how quickly things go from cutting edge to tired.  Here’s an article that reminded me of that today entitled “Wrong Turn for Food Trucks in Los Angeles.“  Here’s the snippet that I found particularly poignant, which starts with a quote from Josh Hiller of RoadStoves, which is the company that outfitted the famous Kogi truck among others:

“‘We got hundreds of calls [from potential food truck operators], but we rejected 95% of the requests.  The problem came when the other commissaries and truck owners saw money and basically just prostituted the whole culture. So what you ended up with was 15 so-so trucks parked on Mid-Wilshire, the city unhappy, a mediocre food product and all the truck owners cannibalizing each other’s business.’”

Hiller doesn’t paint a pretty picture, and it’s undoubtedly not as bleak in many ways as he paints.

But for me the point is this: it’s easy to pick up on some change and then forget to revise your view of it.  A couple years ago, the NBA as a product was on the ropes, but now it’s much healthier (assuming they don’t have a lockout next year.)  Preference is perishable, and I suspect it’s more perishable than ever in a way.

And then you have people in established organizations and institutions who still think it’s acceptable to be adjusting to the Internet.  Goldstar’s own John Loken told me a story that made me laugh the other day.  He was moderating a panel at Digital Hollywood and one of the panelists, from the traditional music business, said it was difficult for them to adjust because they “had a Studebaker [1950's car] and were being expected to make it into a Prius while still on the road.”  In other words, they were in a hard situation because they were being asked to adjust to change.

Hmmm.  If you’d said that in 1996 when the Studebaker was old but running fine, or in 1999, when Napster slashed the Studebaker’s tires, or even in 2002, when the iPod put a banana in its tailpipe, I could be somewhat understanding.

But in 2011? It’s too late to plead that things are moving too fast.

You’ve got to be able to revise your mindset much, much faster than that.  If food trucks and flip cams, and Digg are already out, and they feel like they were just coming in, you’ve got to develop some kind of system for reminding yourself to challenge your beliefs, even the ones you just recently formed.

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