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Same As It Never Was: Change Is the Status Quo

I realize I sound old when I make comments like this, but the pace of change is mind boggling. The real truth is that the pace of change has accelerated. Technology drives this. Change is so rapid is that yesterday’s breakthroughs quickly soon become so yesterday, so yesterday. Obviously, COVID impacts us all currently, and we all hope within a year it no longer be as pervasive and as deadly. COVID has not stopped the pace of change, and in some cases accelerated it (see Instacart). 

The latest example of a once big breakthrough now in decline was the announcement of the death of Tab by Coca-Cola. For many this is not a big deal, but old timers remember the importance of the brand years ago. A diet cola! I recall in Back to the Future Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) asking for a Tab with the response…

Tab? I can’t give you a tab unless you order something. Alas, the joke doesn’t work anymore. (PS: Back to the Future was released 35 years ago in 1985! so maybe the joke is on me)

Tab was introduced in 1963 and was the leading diet drink in 1980 and still has a small, but fanatical following, but alas with Coca-Cola’s announcement it is now toast.

Its demise reinforces that nothing stays the same and that yesterday’s breakthroughs quickly fade. How’s this for a list? (feel free to add others in the comment box below):

1.Polaroid (I ran that account at BBDO in the 80s)

2.AOL (dial up was such a big deal in the 90s)

3.Digital cameras

4.ATMs (money, what’s money?—OK ATMs still exist but used far less)

5.Phone booths (and even more recently flip phones).

I know I am old because I have too much perspective now about the rise and fall of products and trends. I do not yearn for yesteryear, because yesteryear was not always so good. We tend to glorify the past and gloss over the issues at that time.

Change is the status quo of life. Individuals and businesses that embrace this and roll with change flourish. Individuals and business that hold on to the past too tightly become bitter and fail.

So whether it’s heart felt or not, best to evolve and deal with new realities as they evolve. And be open to the change coming right after. Nothing stays the same.




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2 Comments

  1. ira hock says:

    Some things that do not change- google the history of your favorite candy. Many have been around for 50-100 years.

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