January 28, 2016

The Power Of Opportunity

My Uncle Moe was the smartest, funniest person I ever knew.

He was not a comedy writer or a stand-up comedian. He sold men's clothing and he worked at an off-track betting parlor in New York City.

But he was amazingly smart and funny.

The reason he was not "successful" was perfectly obvious to me -- he never had the opportunity to be successful.

His father died when he was a kid. His mother had to struggle to raise 3 young kids in a tenement. He was the oldest and had to help.

He might have been a great writer -- if he could have gone to college or had a typewriter. But he had more mundane responsibilities.

Which leads me to "consumer generated advertising."

The fact that "consumer generated advertising" is sometimes terrific doesn't mean that creating good advertising is easy, or that advertising creative people aren't talented, or that anyone can create good ads.

All it means is that advertising is like every other human endeavor  -- there are people with talent who, through no fault of their own, have never been given an opportunity to demonstrate it. And when given the opportunity, they shine.

A lot of successful people think that they got that way by exhibiting extraordinary ability or  perseverance. Some have.

But many are just average people who had above-average opportunities.

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