A decade down, here’s your starter for 10

Campaign Middle East - - AGENDA -

is 10! That means we are go­ing to cel­e­brate by eat­ing too much cake, be­com­ing over ex­cited, hav­ing a tantrum about not get­ting a pony and be­ing sent to our room.

We are also cel­e­brat­ing by ask­ing a lot of peo­ple who have played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the in­dus­try over the past decade the same 10 ques­tions each. And the an­swers are fas­ci­nat­ing.

I was prob­a­bly most sur­prised at the num­ber of in­dus­try fig­ures who said they have no re­grets from the past 10 years. I have re­grets from the past 10 hours, let alone a whole decade. But per­haps they are just sen­si­ble enough to bury their re­morse deep in­side and not flaunt their fail­ings for the rest of us to read and judge.

Most say they have learned from their mis­takes, and no one can deny there has been much to learn since those heady days of late 2008, just be­fore the fi­nan­cial cri­sis hit the re­gion. The decade has prob­a­bly been the most tur­bu­lent pe­riod the in­dus­try has seen – both at home and abroad.

Oth­ers say they re­gret not buy­ing dig­i­tal startup stocks or see­ing Prince. While we may never hear Pur­ple Rain live, we can at least ac­knowl­edge how fast seem­ingly faddy tech­nol­ogy and trends can be­come main­stream, mil­lion­aire- mak­ing and cul­ture-form­ing. Just imag­ine if you’d in­vented the selfie stick.

Many peo­ple say their biggest mo­ments of pride have come not from their jobs but from their chil­dren. And luck­ily none of them said hav­ing kids was a re­gret. Those chil­dren will grow up in a world of me­dia and com­mu­ni­ca­tions a mil­lion miles from that which their par­ents knew. And if they de­cide to go into the same line of busi­ness, those changes will be even more marked.

When we asked peo­ple what their jobs will be like 10 years into the fu­ture, the an­swers ranged from ‘just the same’ to ‘won’t ex­ist’. Both of those are prob­a­bly cor­rect. The big pic­ture of what we do will re­main the same – whether that is pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion and en­ter­tain­ment or per­suad­ing peo­ple to part with money for goods and ser­vices – while the day-to- day will trans­form un­recog­nis­ably. Just as it has since this ti­tle first started writ­ing about it.

will con­tinue to chron­i­cle this in­dus­try. And the jour­ney we will chart looks set to be just as in­ter­est­ing as it has been so far.

We couldn’t have done it with­out you, of course. You fill our pages, sup­port us and make this job in­ter­est­ing. It is with your help that is grow­ing with the in­dus­try.

None of us can re­ally tell where the next decade will take us, the best me­dia mix for tar­get­ing Mar­tian set­tlers or what the next selfie stick will be. But it will be fun find­ing out.

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