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Sunday, 1 April 2012

"Nothing fails like success" - or how to get hopelessly marooned up your own derriere

This may not interest you much, but I coined the first phrase above about four years ago when the world's economies started to fall apart.

Not long before that we had been hearing moonshine from assorted idiots, economists and smug politicians (see Gordon Brown) that there would never be another recession, capitalism had triumphed and so on.

All this is prompted because today I renewed my subscription to BitDefender, which protects my computer from all the prowling nasties on the internet - or has done so far. BitDefender is highly rated, wins awards and comes from Romania, which I have visited a few times and enjoyed.

But I was worried when I saw what they wrote about Bitdefender's logo or symbol - a dragon-wolf:

"The dragon-wolf's totemic essence and military vigor safeguard and watched over the peace of the ancient Dacian people. Its uncompromising symbol inspires BitDefender's mission to eradicate every kind of computer malware."

The picture is of a dragon-wolf, from the Emperor Trajan's column in Rome. The Dacians, a pretty fearsome bunch, were ancestors of today's Romanians. The Romans were so impressed by them that the legions adopted the dragon-wolf.

But never mind the slightly erratic grammar and that I rather like the dragon-wolf. Bitdefender is just something that protects my computer, not a holy crusade.

The minute you start spending time writing this kind of stuff you are on the path that almost inevitably, sooner or later, leads you up your own backside. If you're not careful you end up sitting in meetings talking guff about slogans and strategy instead of trying to help your customers better. A good example of the sort of thing I mean is here. Utter gobbledegook. http://genoneventures.com/blog/?p=442&goback=%2Egde_2268050_member_104716802

The Bitdefender folk would be better off sorting out the slightly confusing procedure for downloading.

They are in danger of getting complacent. Complacency kills; and the encouraging corollary of nothing fails like success is that nothing succeeds like failure.

When you're in the dumps, you have two choices: you can stay there or do something to climb out.

One of my favourite quotations is from Sir Ernest Rutherford at the Cavendish Laboratory - "We haven't got the money, so we must think."*

What stops you thinking? Many things, I suspect, but delight in your success must come high on the list.

*Another great line from Rutherford was this: "The only possible conclusion the social sciences can draw is: some do, some don't".

I wonder what he would have said about all the current waffle on social media. I keep asking myself one thing: what are unsocial media?

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