Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos are famous for never being satisfied. Always pushing, driving, demanding, questioning, never slowing, positively perfectionist.
But is it wise to look at them as role models?
What’s the value of pushing and driving if you can never be satisfied?
These questions occurred to me as Pennie and I drove to the new home of close friends last week to sit and mourn the death of their mother. My pocket pixie spoke to us along the way. She was the perfect navigator, telling us where to turn and how far it would be before we’d need to turn again.
That drive took 49 minutes.
If someone had told me 28 years ago that I would one day carry a device in my pocket that would cheerfully guide me to any place I named, I would have thought them insane. But my pocket pixie also plays any song I want and shows me TV shows and movies and gives me details about everything important that’s happening in the world. She is the catalogue of all that can be bought and the repository of all the world’s history and knowledge. Touch a button and she becomes a camera. Another touch and she records a video. You can also use her as a telephone.
Oh, I forgot to mention that when she’s being a catalogue, all I have to do is touch a button and she will purchase the item, charge it to my credit card and ship it to my house by 2nd-Day air.
But none of this surprises you. In fact, I wearied you a little by carrying on about it for three paragraphs. Am I right?
You have an iPhone or something like it and you know how to use the navigator function on Google Maps and MP3 players have been around awhile and streaming video has been global for a decade.
No king or emperor, pharaoh or czar ever lived in the comfort of a modest home with central heat and air conditioning. None of them ever ate such a wide variety of delicacies or enjoyed such entertainments as you and I have at our fingertips.
We live beneath a waterfall of inventions and innovations and improvements. They come at us faster than we can see. Your pocket pixie has more than 1.5 million apps available that will give her specialized powers to serve you in ways you’ve never imagined.
Yet we roll our eyes as we yawn and ask, “Is that all?”
Chronic dissatisfaction is the price of progress and we are the most dissatisfied generation that has ever lived.
I should know. I make my living by pointing at things and promising they will make tomorrow better than yesterday.
I am an American ad man.
If I were to run for president, I would be a spectacle. I would speak directly to the deepest dissatisfactions and frustrations and fears of the people. I would throw accusations and blame from my fingertips with such power that people would see me as a straight-talking teller of the truth. I would be colorful and irreverent and entertaining and keep you focused only on your dissatisfaction. I would promise to fix it all.
My accusations could be silly.
My promises could be ridiculous.
The only thing that would need be true is the dissatisfaction of the people.
And we are the most dissatisfied generation that has ever lived.
Let us hope I never run for president because I would be a terrible one.
And all it took
for me to realize this
was the death
of the mother
of a friend.
Roy H. Williams
Wizard Academy has a weekly training session and a monthly 1-hour session delivered through online video. In this week’s video Jeff Sexton applies the magic of Disney to bring your ad copy to life.
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