Monday, October 15, 2007

Issue 439 - 25 Years Of The CD

I hope everything is ok where you are.

I had to smile this morning when I read Martin Avis's newsletter - he has the sniffles at the moment, and is subject to some derision in his female dominated household - the dreaded word 'manflu' is being bandied about!

He says he doesn't like that word, but I actually do like it - it's an efficient way of summing up the idea that some men (not Martin of course!) claim they have the flu when in fact they just have the odd sniffle.
To take the idea further, it's something that only men do, that women are much more capable of having the sniffles and just getting on with it.

Personally I think it's to do with childbirth - if a woman is capable of going through a process which I liken to passing a medicine ball, then the odd sniff is not something to get worked up about.

I mentioned that to a friend of mine who is a mother, and she said my concept of passing a medicine ball was way off the mark, that it was more like trying to pass a television!
With legs.
Turned on.

On the subject of women, I must just note that next week a space shuttle is due to go up with only the 2nd woman commander.
It will dock with the space station which has itself just seen a newly arrived woman commander.
It's the first time both vehicles will be commanded by women, and although the women in the space programme say it's nothing really worth noting, the fact that it's the first time makes it worthy of note by definition.

Ok, today's subject is a self improvement one, to do with change, the forcing of it, the acceptance of it, and the lasting effects of it.

Oct 1982, the first CD is sold.
Technology is normally credited as born when the first sale is made, but some quarters argue that it's the first production.
If I stick with October, the general consensus is the 25th anniversary of the CD in 2007.

Sony had lost a technology war when the Betamax video lost out to VHS in popularity, so really needed its' new CD to take hold.
The idea behind it was that it produced a much clearer sound on a much sturdier product, and was aimed at the classical music market.

The take up was slow though, as people were firmly entrenched in the concept of vinyl and tape.
The idea that people would replace their vast collections with a new version was not widely accepted.
In fact I still have well over 600 hundred vinyl LPs, and still believe that the artwork of a 12 inch cover was far better than on a tiny CD cover.
I was not alone, and the CD had a hard time trying to be accepted, and when I started working at EMI Records in London, at the end of 1987, this was still the case.
(Incidentally, that story of how I got the job is also in my 'Transform Your Life' book!)

As the decade ticked by into the 90s, I noticed something strange.
The music industry was not prepared to wait any longer for a natural change, so decided to force the issue.
They would release new albums by major artists with a limited supply of vinyl.
Then they could point to the sales figures, and show a rise in the sales of CD, and a drop in the sales of vinyl - of course without mentioning that those sales had been manipulated by limiting the supply of vinyl versions available!

Was it effective?
The consumer didn't like it, but if they wanted the music they had to go with the CD.
It had taken many years, but the concept stuck, and of course the CD is now as taken for granted as the telephone, so much so that it would hard to imagine life *without* the technology of the CD.

The self improvement angle is an easy one to spot.
Sometimes we don't want change, sometimes it is forced on us, but just as often the result of the change isn't as bad as we'd predicted, and we adapt to it surprisingly well.
If we can get used to forcing change onto ourselves, we can speed up change in our lives that we might have thought impossible.

Ok, that's it for this week - are you scared of change, or do you just have the self improvement version of manflu?

'Til Next Time,
Health and Happiness,
P.S. If you know anyone else who you think would enjoy the Great Gordino Newsletter, please pass it on to them!

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