Standing on the shoulders of giants

We made the campaign a success! Everyone was clapping and cheering. People were asking for selfies with us and wanted our phone numbers to stay in touch. I felt like someone who had just posted a viral video on Instagram and was getting digital love bites from across the globe. It seemed like we had arrived.

And to be fair, we had. We had worked our butts off, putting in 12 hours days, and sometimes without a break on the weekend. We had overcome struggles and failures and moments when it all seemed pointless. We had refused to succumb to temptations of taking the easy but less ideal route. We had stood our ground, and we made it.

We deserved to give ourselves a pat on the back. Looking back, it seemed easy. So many things just had fallen into place. We had tremendous clarity of about our target market, we understood their pains, gains and needs, we had tested several value propositions and identified the one’s that worked.

Newton once said "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants".

Picture that. You are standing on the shoulder of a friendly King Kong and looking around at the entire periphery of New York city. You feel powerful and strong. And when you speak, the crowd looks at you. It’s you on whom their gaze is fixed, and not so much on the giant. You are the fore bearer of the strength, for it seems that the giant does your bidding!

Newton himself picked this phrase from the twelfth century philosopher Bernard of Chartres, who said "we [the modern people] are like dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants [the ancient people], and thus we are able to see more and see further than the latter"

It is easy to forget that I am standing on the shoulders of a giant, when I am standing on the shoulders of a giant.

All the work we have done and the success we have won, stands upon the work done by many before us.

Many people worked before us to establish goodwill and trust.
A team before us had toiled for more than a year to put in place extensive market research and testing.
Several teachers taught us the fundamental principles.
Some before us had tried and failed several time before finding the value proposition that works.
We used a software tool that was developed by a team more than a decade ago that helped us envision.
We read books written by practitioners who had spent an entire lifetime working on the problem and coming up with solutions.
Even their work rests on half a century of marketing wisdom developed by greats like Philip Kotler.
And so on it goes.

Every thing I am, every creation that has flowed through me, every result I have managed, is a combination of my effort, and the efforts of many people that came before me and built the foundation. I never want to allow myself to forget that. Celebrate success, but recognise the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

And of course, one day someone will stand on my shoulder and the crowd will fix their gaze on them. They will ignore the giant. But I will know.