Monday, May 16, 2011
Running the mile.
There was a nice article in "The New York Times" this morning about the great milers and rivals Jim Ryun and Marty Liquori. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/16/sports/forty-years-ago-a-dream-mile-captivated-like-a-track-ali-frazier.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Jim%20Ryun&st=cse The article focuses on a show down between the two, 40 years ago at the Penn Relays track meet.
The race itself is partly told through the eyes of the writer 40 years ago, when he was a 15-year-old boy. "I was there with my father. I recall Ryun warming up, running full turns on the interior track: a series of languid jogs, then of gradually lengthening strides and finally of full-out sprints. It seemed as if he had run five miles to prepare for one. It was a revelation to a novice not yet 15."
You can probably guess the sentence that got me: "...He had to run five miles to prepare for one."
That's right. That's the ratio of success. Do a lot to perform a little.
In our business there is a tremendous ratio of bullshit to success. I think there always was. There is just a ton of shit you have to shovel before something precious gets through the sieve.
My experience is that the ratio is the same at "good" agencies as it is at "shitty" agencies. The difference in agency success and failure is this: When work is killed, bad agencies come back with work that is slightly worse. Good agencies keep coming back with work that is better.
That's our choice. Give in or keep fighting.
Posted by george tannenbaum at 8:34 AM