Kodak is dead. And the Kodak moment is next.
Last week I went to hear a Heavy Chef in Woodmead. It got me thinking about a few things you should be thinking about…
It was great to be back as I regrettably missed the last two Heavy Chef events held by Worldwide Creative.
Don Packett from 21Tanks was the speaker. I first met Don through a friend, Richard (who happens to be his business partner,) at the Xbox Kinect launch where he was the MC a couple of years back. Since that day I’ve been fascinated by his business approach and their unique offering: perspective.
Perspective, you ask? Yes, that’s pretty much what they sell at 21 Tanks. And it was also the common thread that ran through Don’s talk in which he urged people to “Slow down” and “Do it quickly.”
Slow down. Do it quickly
Pretty good advice if you consider one of his points: “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.” It’s so true. Now I’m not saying (and I doubt he was either) that everyone’s dissatisfied and completely miff with life. What I mean is that people in our day and age, who are connected in so many ways, are seldom contented.
We no longer wake up and smell the coffee because we’re too busy Instagramming the hashtag froth-design that the barista crafted for us to lap up while we check our email.
We’re on a constant hunt for the fastest way to do things, to get places and achieve goals – quests to decorate ourselves with a bombardment of disingenuous rewards like Likes, RTs and Trackbacks that stoke our egos in the most insignificant ways. And life passes us by.
We sadly live in a time where few people truly recognise opportunity because no prescription viagra they expect it to beckon them with SMSes and Wall Posts. Howard Thurman put it well by saying,
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that because what the world needs is people who are alive.”
This sounds dandy. The problem is that people aren’t alive. If anything, we’re dead men (and women) walking. Don made a good point that back in the day, we would whip out our Witwatersrand maps to navigate our way into unfamiliar territory. We would study the map and make visual references until we finally found our destination. Sure, it was a process, but once done we would never need directions to that place again.
Nowadays, we hop in our cars, punch in an address, and – like dead men driving – we take turn-by-turn, robot-like instructions to guide us to our port of call. Funny thing is, most of us would never be able to find the same journey’s end after this “far more efficient” process.
Two more things came to mind as Don engaged with the audience while the audience engaged with themselves and their followers:
The first was the back page of Ronnie Apteker’s book, Do You Love IT In The Mornings? on which he talks about the progress paradox. How is it that we have all these time-saving devices, but we just never seem to have any spare time? And with more and more innovation designed to save us more and more time, we continue to have less and less.
On one hand, it’s phenomenal how technology has, and will continue to evolve, improve and change the world. This amazing progress has us staring like deer in headlights. But on the other hand it’s potentially destroying the simple joys of life, as we’ve known them to be in the past. I can’t help asking myself, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then what’s the actual experience worth? You know, the one where you’re actually there taking the image in with all your senses as it burns into your memory beyond vivid high definition.
The second thought that popped into my mind was Kodak.
Over its 120 years, the multinational company was born, grew into the largestphotographic company in the world and, finally, filed for bankruptcy this year.
That rare, one-time moment which would have made a brilliant picture, the “Kodak moment,” in some ways can never happen again. Why? Because everyone, almost everywhere has a device with a camera, armed and ready to snap away a flat experience that our minds could have potentially soaked up in brilliant multi-sensory ways. But a photograph, and not even a tangible one, seems to be the faster option so that we can “have the experience” later, which we seldom do.
Processing these Kodak moments used to mean producing a physical object to cherish and interact with. Nowadays, our Kodak moments get thrown away with our old phone or obsolete harddrive. It’s even debatable that we ever get around to digging up these digital memories while they’re in storage. And that’s sad.
The fate of genuine memories and our ability to effectively reminisce is in danger.
Don might just have the solution:
Slow down. Do it quickly.
Before you forget how.
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