And then that happened

The world changes and we have a choice:

• Fight hard to keep it the way it was.

• Notice what happened and then decide to do something with that insight.

Thirty years ago, AOL was my company’s biggest client. They charged users $3 an hour to use their precursor to the internet, and paid content providers a royalty based on time spent on their ‘site.’

We invented a breakthrough game that was played in a chat room. Our testing showed that people (millions of people, probably) would play it for hours at a time. We developed a series of games with AOL that were fun and engaging, and were a few weeks from launch. It was certainly the most profitable project I had worked on to date.

And then AOL changed to flat rate monthly pricing. And the royalties went to zero.

“Well, that happened.”

The sunk costs were real, but the sunk costs didn’t matter. What mattered was that our project was built on a foundation that had disappeared. In less than an hour, we walked away from all of it, which enabled us to build the tools and products we needed.

The world is changing faster than ever. Sometimes for the better. Always giving us a choice to react or respond.