There’s a couple next to me at the bar where I’m sitting–I’m writing at Ted’s Montana Grill in Boulder. The guy is eating his dinner in silence because his spouse is on her phone. Occasionally he picks his up, too, because he looks bored. But for the most part, he eats alone, one bite of his steak at a time. They are doing things as everyone else, and maintaining the status quo. Nothing wrong with that, they are like everyone else, consumed by news of someone else rather than the one they’re with.
It reminds me of a podcast by Seth Godin I listened to today about marketing new ideas to people–people who would rather maintain the status quo. Because people really don’t like change. It could get better but it could also get worse. Better to not choose, risk it, and just leave it alone.
So, the woman stares at her phone between bites of her burger. And the guy eats alone. Again, nothing wrong–it’s what everyone else is doing.
But jump forward to 2038. Twenty years. Then when they’re 20 years older and all that time has passed, will they be glad they spent those dinners in silence? Consumed by the news of the day, other people’s, perhaps friends, maybe just acquaintances. Time keeps moving, and in this moment, it’s easy to see it as never-ending. Plenty of time to waste.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
~Pink Floyd, “Time”
Seth Godin talks about sticking to your plan if you have a product or service you believe in, especially if it challenges the status quo. He says we are in a different world, one where niche-marketing is the new paradigm. And there are people who are willing to take that risk and try something new. That’s our audience.
Who said art has to be easy, or that easy art is the best art?
Because Grandpa can look amazing if we add a little quality, and make his portrait with something better than the phone in our pockets. And 20 years from now, when he’s long gone but we still have that beautiful portrait to remember him by, we will be glad we didn’t worry about maintaining the status quo.