Predicting the Future
I watched American Idol for the first time ever. Up to that point, my only exposure had been fleeting glimpses at Google News headlines or a radio announcer's mention of a singer's success or lack there of. I felt compelled to watch in order to keep my wife company (she's a fan and had taped the show), as opposed to disappearing upstairs to read (my default position). From the best I could tell from Jennifer Lopez's expression and studio audience reaction, America's decision to dump Pia came as a shock. Google News headlines the next day confirmed my grasp of the obvious.
This reaction reminded my of a New Yorker article (October 16, 2006) that I had saved. It contains a quote by screenwriter William Goldman about predicting success. "Nobody knows anything. No one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what's going to work. Every time out it's a guess...Why? Because nobody, nobody--not now, not ever--knows the least goddam thing about what is or isn't going to work..."
That explains why so many got it wrong in tipping Pia to win. That's why movies fail at the box office, despite millions spent on marketing. That's why singers become one-hit wonders and American Idol winners go on to win an Oscar. That's why products from the hottest brands fail.
No one can predict the future with certainty...even psychics, who always have to ask their victim's name.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.