Why Safe Isn’t Really Safe at All

Why safe isn't safe at all.
Mar | 12 | 2011

Mar | 12 | 2011

Safe is my least favorite word these days. Consider the following:

  • It’s safe for major publishers to approach social media rock stars and with book deals, even if those books turn out to be largely anodyne.
  • It’s safe for movie studios to remake The Green Hornet, Get Smart, and films from other moribund franchises.
  • It’s safe for the head of PR of a cash-laden Fortune 50 company to turn down new marketing ideas under the aegis of lack of funds.
  • It’s safe for large companies to hire McKinsey, Accenture, and other highly recognizable consulting firms to implement their systems.
  • It’s safe for companies to only hire candidates with previous experience.
  • It’s safe not to take risks.

But here are the problems with safe:

  • Safe is boring.
  • Safe is predictable.
  • Safe is limiting.
  • Safe can only offer marginal improvements.
  • Safe isn’t sustainable.
  • Safe often isn’t really safe.

Do you think that Mark Zuckerberg was worried about safety? Steve Jobs? Larry Paige and Sergey Brin? Think that Thomas Edison or Jackson Pollock wanted to keep it safe?

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  1. John Falchetto

    Amen brother. Safe is boring and safe never got us anywhere to start with. As an expat I can tell you safe and the feeling of being safe is the worst thing ever. As small business owners we need that little feeling in our gut, yes that fear and learn to manage our reactions and make great decisions.

    Keeping it safe is the best way to get nowhere, safely. Actually being safe is probably the most dangerous thing to do. But that is an entire different post.
    Thanks Phil for this great reminder, enjoy your weekend.

    • Phil Simon

      Thanks, John. I like that: Safe is the new dangerous. I should have picked that as the title of the post.


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