Published on: January 12, 2017
This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either ... they are similar, but not exactly the same. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.
Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
“Timing is everything," William Shakespeare once wrote. "There is a tide in the affairs of men which when taken at the flood leads on to fortune.”
And while he may not have been quite as loquacious as the Bard, Yogi Berra said much the same thing. "You don't have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it'll go."
I've been thinking about timing this week because of a story I read in the Washington Post the other day about Kodak Ektachrome, a film that the company stopped manufacturing and selling in 2012 - yet another victim of digital photography and mismanagement of a company that seemed unwilling or unable to deal with changing technology and shifting consumer preferences.
In 2017, however, Kodak Alaris, one of the companies that emerged from Kodak's bankruptcy, will begin manufacturing 35 mm film again.
The reason for its revival is much the same as the reason that vinyl records are making a comeback. There's a sense that the quality is better, and that real aficionados and professionals have created a market for it. And so the company wants to take advantage of it ... in ways that it would have been nice if the original company had been able to take advantage of the changing marketplace a decade ago.
Timing also can work in other ways. For example, young people have latched onto a revived Polaroid technology because they think it is totally cool that they can get instant prints and not just digital versions of their pictures. Go figure. Maybe next they'll start subscribing to actual newspapers...
Timing, indeed is important. But like Yogi Berra said, you actually have to swing. You have to be ready for the moment, and prepared to change course when events call for it. "Compete" is a verb.
By the way, speaking of timing - the bad kind - I had to laugh when I read that in France, there's a new law that says employees have the right to ignore emails from employers if they come outside of typical working hours.
The goal, according to the Washington Post story, is "to stem work-related stress that increasingly leaks into people's personal time — and hopefully prevent employee burnout."
I think that worker rights need to be protected so they're not exploited, but this strikes me as crazy because it legislates something that need not be regulated ... and it also creates an environment in which it is hard for companies to be competitive in a global market that gets tougher every day.
Then again, this is a country where the 35-hour work week is sacrosanct, and where they've passed laws taking away some of Amazon's competitive advantages, because that's a lot easier than actually forcing other retailers to compete.
C'est la vie. Timing is everything.
That's what's on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: