retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Michael Sansolo

In my column yesterday, I wrote how the current situation surrounding the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the panic shopping for things like toilet tissue reminded me of a great lesson from the first Men In Black movie.  Early in the movie, Will Smith asks Tommy Lee Jones (Agent K) why the presence of aliens on earth is kept so secret.  Smith argues, "People are smart. They can handle it."

Later in the day, we actually linked to the scene on YouTube … but as I thought about it, I realized that what comes after that exchange also ought to inform how we think about our rapidly changing world.

In the scene Tommy Lee Jones, reminds Will Smith of everything he does not know:

"Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the center of the universe," he says.  "Five hundred years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."


Michael Sansolo can be reached via email at

His book, “THE BIG PICTURE:  Essential Business Lessons From The Movies,” co-authored with Kevin Coupe, is available here.

And, his book "Business Rules!" is available from Amazon here.