Synchronicity on the Road

Jim Hamilton
Jan 20, 2012

According to Wikipedia, synchronicity “is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance and that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner.” Synchronicity came to mind this week for the peculiar timing of my business travel destinations. The first part of my week was occupied by the Konica Minolta dealer meeting where the keynote speaker was Tony Hsieh of Zappos. Can you imagine his dilemma? The day before he was supposed to give his speech, his company’s customer data was breached by hackers. I’m sure that many CEOs would have opted out, said “I can’t do it, I’m sure you understand.” To his credit he came through, doing the keynote between damage-control sessions with his employees, a press conference, and presumably stern calls from Amazon, the company that purchased Zappos in 2009.

Next stop: New Orleans for the Graphic Users’ Association conference, which is essentially a Kodak users group (particularly those who use Creo or Prinergy products). Kodak had been teetering on the verge of bankruptcy and they finally tipped into it on Thursday, the day I arrived in town to give the Friday morning keynote. Can you imagine scheduling a user group meeting months in advance and have it turn out later that your company declares bankruptcy right in the middle of it? Talk about an uncomfortable situation! Though to Kodak’s credit, they faced the issue head on and perhaps it wasn’t such bad timing, considering that they got to communicate their reorganization plans directly to some of their key customers.

I’m beginning to feel a bit like Forrest Gump (even the more so being in New Orleans near a Bubba Gump restaurant and the Tom Hanks’ promos for the World War II museum here). Gump, as you well know, always seemed to show up at key historical moments. That’s what my week seemed like. And since stuff like this tends to happen in threes, I wonder what could possible happen next. Oddly enough, as I was thinking about writing this blog I tried to look up the word ’synchronicity’ on Wikipedia, but it was blacked out to protest the pending SOPA and PIPA legislation. Synchronicity?

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