Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Wear A Watch

Seth Godin writes:

Nobody wears a watch any more.
Nobody wears a tie either.
Nobody shops at a bookstore, at least nobody I know.
The market of nobody is big indeed. You can do really well selling to nobody if you do your homework. In fact, most companies selling to nobody outperform those that are trying to sell to everyone.

News flash: While a lot of our commerce has become e-commerce, there is still a market for watches, ties, and books from bookstores.

I appreciate that Godin works hard to analyze the trends of online life and marketing, but this brief soundbite gets my dander up.

Maybe I'm biased, since I won't leave the house without my watch. I'm not a Luddite, since I also carry a BlackBerry, an iPod and a MacBook on a regular basis. But I will always check my watch for date and time before I pull out a cell phone.

Godin's making the point that companies who do not move forward and embrace change will end up losing their market, or any market. But he's overlooking human irrationality. My daily watch is an Invicta, but on fancy occasions, I wear my husband's grandmother's wind up silver Gruen model, or my own grandmother's gold Hamilton. I buy a new watch every now and then, and I have one in chocolate gold, one powered by a solar cell, and one that's old and battered that it's okay to scratch and beat around.

Do I really need so many watches? Do I need a watch at all? Certainly not. Everywhere you go there's a clock, on your phone, on your laptop, on the wall, scrolling on subway announcement boards, on whatever electronic gadget is in your hand... you don't need an extra time piece on your wrist.

But the watch is a reminder of routine. It's something that keeps me grounded. It's got enough dials to remind me what day of the week it is when I'm so busy I forget. And really, there is a market for this. There is a market for watches. There will always be a market for watches. Just because it won't be made of the same people doesn't mean that the market disappears.