Who better than the least fashionable human being you know to connect the dots between distrust of the media and clothing, specifically down vests? Don’t think I can do it? Let’s go.

We begin with a shocking headline: Media Study Finds Rampant Listener Cynicism! In this case, listeners don’t trust radio stations regarding music choices. This is, apparently, news to anyone who went to sleep at the end of the Boomer generation and missed Gen X.

In our cynical world of alleged “fake news,” people are going to believe completely false notions about your brand and your industry, including the notion that “Radio stations mostly play the songs that record companies pay them to play.”

For those of us who come from radio, this idea would be laughable…if it weren’t hurting the business. (And if you’re wondering about the real answer to the tight playlist conundrum, it goes something like this.)

The cynicism that now rules our society also means that way too many people expect you to fail. When you have a unique idea, or a unique message, they’ll be happy to take shots at you, informed or otherwise.

And with that, let’s move on to something surprising: did you know that San Francisco International Airport has a vending machine that sells down vests? Let the cynical internet mocking begin! Why lay on the contempt? Let’s break down the logic:

  • San Francisco has something really unusual in its airport.
  • That’s not surprising. After all, San Francisco isn’t like my hometown; it’s a freak show, and everything about San Francisco is unusual.
  • San Francisco has lots of techies and wealthy venture capitalists, and both groups don’t act like “normal” people.
  • People, ideas, and messages that are outside the mainstream are prime targets for cynicism and scorn.
  • Selling down vests in a vending machine is exactly the kind of thing that would be appeal to those San Franciscan freak show folks who are richly deserving of ridicule.
  • Let the mockery begin!

Here’s one more data point to consider: a single vending machine is grossing $10,000 a month. Selling down vests. At an airport. In a region where people arrive presumably having packed for cold weather during their stay.

The point: cynicism is everywhere. Friends, colleagues, and strangers alike will tell you why your unique idea is destined to fail and why your unique message will never connect.

Ignore the noise.

Have you got a great idea – one that will cut through the clutter and that you truly believe in? Go for it!

Oh, and if you’ve got an idea that will cut through the clutter and that might turn out to be a great? Give it a shot!

Cynics are everywhere. Great ideas are not.

Uniqlo – the company that’s selling those down vests – is laughing all the way to the bank.

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