I just finished Michael Eisner’s autobiography, “Work in Progress.” It’s an excellent read, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the final chapter. It’s 1997, and Eisner — CEO of Disney — starts predicting the future of his corporation.
Hindsight makes a book that’s only 15 years old seem like an absolute relic. Eisner offers his predictions for the future, but the stuff that matters most in today’s media — the Internet, Google, streaming video, HDTV — is barely touched upon. He mentions that Disney is expanding on the web, but only by mentioning Go.com.
And if you go to Go.com right now, you’ll see… a web portal that hasn’t been updated in five years.
The point is: We cannot see very far into the future. We are going forward, semi-cluelessly. We have ideas. We have dreams. We have leaders.
We have no idea what happens next. And we have no idea how the things that come next will affect the things we believe in now.
To quote a Florence & the Machine song that’s been in my head for a few weeks now:
A revelation in the light of day
You can’t choose what stays and what fades away
We do not know what is next. We are all out here making it up as we go along.
But future is ours, and we’re the ones who’ll be shaping it, in our own haphazard way. We may look silly for trying to predict the future, but we’ll look like morons if we don’t try to build it anyway — each of us — today.
Thanks to Instagram user @jpcherry for the excellent photo of Tomorrowland.