February 10, 2015


Brian Williams has been suspended from broadcasting the news for six months (click here). Some of our younger readers would be amazed to learn that television networks summarize the daily news each evening, having a credible host present the information in an authentic manner, so that the news will be believed, so that people will watch, so that the networks can sell ad space and earn profit. Anyway, it appears Mr. Williams stretched the truth on a few of his stories.

John Stewart will be stepping down from The Daily Show (click here). He often pointed out the inauthentic nature of others, if you equate often with daily.

I learned about both, on Twitter, within moments of each other ... not via evening television. Times are changing. Times always change. In old-school media, Gen-X is in the process of throwing out the Baby Boomer generation. Online, Millenials are using mobile to throw Gen-X out of the future of the internet.

What does any of this have to do with my/our industry?

Authenticity. Trust.

Can you believe what people tell you? Especially folks who are being disrupted by younger generations, by new media ... can you trust them when they tell you that omnichannel is the future, when they tell you that retail is stronger than ever even when comps and foot traffic tell you otherwise? Can you trust the printer who tells you that JCP is mailing one (1) catalog (proof that print works) but doesn't say a peep about SkyMall going out of business (proof that print no longer works)? Can you trust the online expert who tells you that a fusion of social and mobile will save your business, even if your average customer is 61 years old? Can you trust the VC who tells you that the future is the "sharing economy", if it means that peasants share while VC's get rich?

Who do you trust? Why do you trust the individual? What does the individual do/say that enables you to trust the professional for honest advice? What is it about the person that radiates authenticity? And if that person makes an infrequent mistake, are you willing to forgive the person?