April 20, 2009
Seth Godin recently talked about the pending death of all newspapers. Since I admire his thinking, this has gotten me a little worried. There’s nothing more enjoyable than reading the paper with a steaming cup of coffee in the sunshine on a Sunday afternoon. It is the ultimate slow event as you power down to power up for the week.
You can’t curl up to a magazine quite like you can a paper. The smell of it alone brings me back to my six-year-old self. As a kid, I was an early riser, like my dad. We’d both go to the newspaper store on Saturdays to pick up what my dad called ‘the only newspaper worth reading’. He’d hand me a stick of Trident gum while he’d buy the New York Times and a pack of cigars. The overwhelming blend of tobacco and newsprint was stamped on my olifactory memory forever.
In a recent post, Seth Godin asks:
Ever notice that most car specs focus on acceleration, not braking? It’s more fun to focus on getting fast than it is on getting slow.
How would you manage or market differently if you knew that you had to hit the brakes, and hard? Slowing one thing and speeding up something else.
I would argue it is fun to focus on slow, that it has remarkable potential to align your life with what is truly important and that it allows the noise of your life to fall away. Embracing slow is about mindful living. Granted it’s worth asking how mindful it is to stay stuck in one routine because ‘you’ve always done it that way’. I’m all for tradition (and newsprint) when it serves a purpose, but Seth also has a point. Savvy businesspeople foresee trends and position themselves ahead of the curve. My only hope is we can still have a few remnant papers to curl up to. If only for a Sunday afternoon…