Jun 032011

As many of my closer friends and colleagues (and an audience at Front End of Innovation, in May) are aware, I’ve written another book (by the way, it’s not “out of print,” the printing is taking forever to get done–I’m waiting for permission to quote a famous author).  It’s a book about finding invisible advantage by seeing what nobody else can see … by looking in the spaces in between.  That’s its title, in fact:  The Spaces In Between.

To start generating some word-of-mouth guerilla buzz (probably a barely perceptible hum at this point, really), I’ve begun contacting people in my various contact lists.  Right now,mind you, I’m being fairly discriminating:  only those I’ve had ongoing–even if not recent–contact with.  In other words, people that I would consider loose friends of a sort; people who, when they needed something, I helped out.  The thing these people have in common beyond that is that they are influential within their own networks and they have other influential colleagues who I know but am not close to.  Perhaps you see where this is going.

So I contacted one fellow that I haven’t spoken to in a few years but who would have to be abnormally ungifted to claim “I don’t remember you” without betraying a fullness of shit.  I said something to the effect of, “Hey, I’ve written a book and you’re pretty influential.  Would you have a look and then blog or post something nice (if you like it)?  And, there’s this other guy we both know but who you know much better, would you mind contacting him and reminding him of me and asking if he’d mind doing the same.  And, . . .


Perhaps he’s just away from email and busy or on vacation, and will get back to me soon.  Maybe?  (I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt–to a fault.)  I’ll hold my breath.

This episode prompted me to write for catharsis.  I should say it’s not really unexpected:  life has taught me to have very low expectations of most people.  Very few–and often those that most surprise you at the time–actually have social character.  Most are just too glad to be very interested as long as the weight of value tips in their favour.  When it doesn’t, they aren’t.  And they disappear, pretending not to see or hear, to be away, to be busy, or anything else that helps avoid anything that smacks of obligation or effort.  As I said, it’s not entirely unexpected.  But it is disappointing.  This person, specifically, disappointed me and no further amount of (self-)hagiography will change that.  But, he’s contributed to the larger disappointment with people in general.

If I get a response in the next few days, I’ll withdraw my personal disappointment.  But that won’t change the bigger picture.

It’s a damn good thing that every now and then, in the most unanticipated place and from the most unexpected person, my faith in humanity is ever so modestly revived.  So, if you are wondering whether or not to do the respectable thing because you don’t think anybody’s watching, do it anyway.  Somebody always is… and it might just restore his or her faith too.


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