Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Nostalgic Capital: Money, Memories, & Miller Lite

nostalgic - [no-stal-jik nuh‐], adjective
experiencing or exhibiting nostalgia, a sentimental or wistful yearning for the happiness felt in a former place, time, or situation.

capital - [kap-i-tl], noun

the wealth, whether in money or property, owned or employed in business by an individual, firm, corporation, etc.
an accumulated stock of such wealth.

nostalgic capital - [no-stal-jik kap-i-tl], noun

the stored nostalgic value of some person, place, or thing.
the total amount of nostalgia inspired by some person, place, or thing.
 

SUMMARY


Nostalgia is a bittersweet longing and emotional appreciation for the past. It is often associated with and triggered by a particular concept, product, event, person, or place that we experienced in some personal way, either directly and/or through the prism of media - e.g. through newspapers, television, internet, etc. 
 
The Beatles, Credit: UPI Telephoto via Wikipedia
Most importantly, nostalgic emotions are also a motivator for various actions. We take pictures in the present to meet our nostalgic needs in the future. We listen to an Elvis, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Guns N' Roses, or Nirvana album as a way to scratch a nostalgic itch. We select certain brands, follow certain actors, or even live in certain places because of nostalgic impulses. The best nostalgic indulgences are pleasant and fulfilling. Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion.

Capital is stored value. Most often, it refers to resources such as money, land, or various commodities. But it can also represent significantly less tangible concepts - such as human capital, intellectual capital, or even emotional capital. More capital is (nearly) always better than less capital. One form of capital can usually be traded for another form of capital.


Nostalgic Capital is the accumulated nostalgic value of some person, place, or thing - i.e. by the nostalgic asset. It represents the total nostalgic emotion that a nostalgic asset evokes, either from an individual or a group of individuals - e.g. from me, you, the class of 2003 from New York University, the city of Detroit, etc. 


Nostalgic capital can appreciate or depreciate in value. It can be traded for other forms of capital - such as money, time, effort, etc. The concept of nostalgic capital is important for marketers, product developers, producers (music, film, television, etc.), and all others who create something that is meant to be consumed - i.e. it is a vital concept for most modern professionals. Yet it is rarely studied and often misunderstood.

The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of nostalgic capital - particularly as it relates to how new products are designed, developed, and marketed. The aim is not to depict a comprehensive study or to establish a definitive piece, but to intelligently begin a conversation about this important topic and to present a broad foundational theory.
 

THEORY


The process of nostalgic capital creation and appreciation follows the familiar pattern of the S-Curve. It differs from the traditional technology life-cycle in that the value of nostalgic capital never dips below zero and exhibits a more gradual depreciation in value.

Nostalgic Capital Curve, Credit: Vladimir Vukicevic

The Establishing Event represents the beginning of nostalgic capital creation. It is the first time that a person, place, or thing enters the consciousness of an individual or a group of individuals. An establishing event can be the initial release of a film, the unveiling of a new product, the first visit to a new city, etc. 

The establishing event is rarely one moment in time. It is a range of time during which people absorb the person, place, or thing for the first time - while there is still a level of exciting novelty associated with the nostalgic asset. The establishing range can vary significantly, based on the concept being evaluated. For instance, the establishing event range for The Beatles can be reasonably defined to be up to ten years long (from 1960 to 1970), while the establishing event range for Abbey Road (the 11th studio album by The Beatles) is likely between 6 and 12 months in 1969/1970.

The Gradual Appreciation period begins immediately following the establishing event. As time begins to pass, memory begins to overtake reality. The asset associated with the nostalgic emotion begins to gain nostalgic capital. No matter what the nostalgic asset is - i.e. what its level of perceived quality at the time of establishment is accepted to be - nostalgic capital will begin to accrue. The absolute value of the total nostalgic capital will vary greatly among different concepts - e.g. the first Star Wars movie will have a significantly different absolute level of nostalgic capital from Paris Hilton's mid 2000's TV series, The Simple Life.

Star Wars, Original Poster Design
Rapid Appreciation of the nostalgic capital seems to begin 10 to 15 years following the establishing event and lasts 5 to 10 years. This period often coincides with a shift in social generations - i.e. as a new cohort of people begins to grow and as the previous generations move down the temporal totem pole. Since World War II, this has occurred approximately every 20 years throughout most of the world.

The Nostalgic Apex period occurs about 20 to 30 years following the establishing event and lasts between 10 and 15 years - depending on different variables. This peak period represents the greatest opportunity for marketers, product developers, entrepreneurs, producers, and other creators looking to capitalize on the peak of nostalgic emotion evoked by the nostalgic asset.

The nostalgic apex often represents a comprehensive and renewed embrace of a particular concept. This period tends to highlight the positive aspects of the nostalgic asset. It is nostalgia at its grandest.

The Depreciation Period immediately follows the nostalgic apex. It is the gradual de-emphasis of the particular concept. It is a slow cultural decline in significance and nostalgic value. This period often sees other persons, places, or things having a larger and more prevalent nostalgic role in society. It also coincides with the gradual death of the generation which experienced the initial establishing event in the most personal and direct way. It is a period of memory decline and the physics of decay.

As more people no longer have any direct connection to the establishing event, the Historical Period begins. Nostalgia becomes history. Emotion is slowly removed as a more objective perspective is applied. Past concepts are cemented into archives and consistent narratives.

CASE STUDIES


Miller Lite - The Superficial Approach

Miller Lite is one of the first mainstream light beer brands to be widely sold in the United States. The brand was introduced in 1975 and was widely promoted upon launch by numerous celebrities and notable athletes. As the brand has evolved, so has its packaging and overall presentation.


New/Old Miller Lite Can
Since the widespread acceptance of light beers, the market for alcoholic beverages has significantly evolved. New competition within light beers, in addition to a massive surge of other options - including craft beers, spirits, wines, etc. - has made differentiation more difficult. As a new marketing and product differentiation strategy, Miller Lite has re-introduced its original packaging as part of a limited-time "The Original" campaign. 

This obvious attempt to leverage peaking nostalgic capital is relatively simple and superficial. But it represents a potentially lucrative marketing opportunity for many long-established consumer brands such as Miller Lite.

Instagram - The Integral Approach

Instagram is an extremely popular photo-creation, photo-filtering, and photo-sharing application that represents a powerful example of the value of nostalgic capital in product design. Launched in 2010, Instagram quickly gained users (over 100 million by 2012) in a crowded marketplace of established and emerging photo-based applications.

Instagram's key point of differentiation is seen in its photo-sizing and photo-filtering features. The application confines photos to a square shape - reminiscent of classic and highly popular Kodak and Polaroid formats from the 1970's and 1980's. In addition, Instagram offers numerous evocative photo filters that can easily be applied to personal images. The filters enable users to age the look-and-feel of images through color distortion, sharpness adjustment, and other neat changes.

The Instagram Difference, Credit: I, Sailko via Wikipedia
Instagram brilliantly incorporated the concept of nostalgia as an integral component into its product design and key features. A large part of the application's rapid adoption is due to the utilization of nostalgic assets (the look-and-feel of photos) during their nostalgic apex (25-35 years following original adoption of that look-and-feel). Instagram was sold to Facebook (its largest competitor) in April 2012 for around $1 Billion in cash and stock - well in advance of the depreciation period for its nostalgic assets, i.e. its product differentiation features.

River West Brands - The Complete Approach

Specialty brand and marketing agencies are emerging that focus purely on acquiring and monetizing no-longer active brands. One such company, River West Brands, purchases dead brands purely for their nostalgic capital value. River West's founder, Paul Earle, has explicitly based the company's complete strategy on the powerful concept of nostalgia.

As quoted from the New York Times: "...when Earle talks about consumer memory, he is factoring in something curious: the faultiness of consumer memory. There is opportunity, he says, not just in what we remember but also in what we misremember." From this, it is evident that Earle derives the financial valuation for the brands he purchases from nostalgic capital value.

The Coleco Vision Console, Credit: Evan-Amos via Wikipedia
River West Brands has purchased numerous brands, including Brim Coffee and Coleco Games. Some of these brands have been successfully relaunched, leveraging the nostalgic apex period to generate new profit from old, seemingly-dead assets.

CONCLUSION


Nostalgic capital is a valuable concept that is important for marketers, product developers, producers, and all those who create. Both individuals and organizations can benefit from understanding the principles of nostalgic capital. 

The theory of nostalgic capital can be applied in different ways - from the superficial to the integral to the complete approach. Businesses can leverage nostalgic capital and the nostalgic capital curve in order to boost sales, introduce new products, or even as the foundation for strategic positioning.

Nostalgic capital and the nostalgic capital curve represent an emerging theory that should be studied further. Nostalgic capital may offer us the opportunity to unlock significant economic value via an approach that leverages a generally positive reservoir of emotions.



-----


OPEN QUESTIONS


How can nostalgic capital be objectively measured?

What variables determine the peak of nostalgic capital? 

What variables determine the length of the nostalgic apex period? 

How does new technology and the proliferation of the internet impact the nostalgic capital curve?

How does the concept of fauxstalgia fit within this theory?

How can we encourage the positive application of nostalgic capital concepts?

Monday, August 1, 2011

American Economic Survival: The Argument for an Extraterrestrial Conflict

The current economic condition of the United States is in a precarious and potentially dire state. Following the financial turmoil of 2008-2009, the general economic recovery has brought about mixed results. While overall corporate profits and certain economic sectors have generally recovered (e.g. digital media and technology), the most basic socio-economic measures remain historically weak. The official unemployment rate hovers between 9% - 10%, with underemployment between 19% - 20%, household wealth has plummeted in the previous five years, and real estate estate prices are still near their bottom. The indicators that matter most to most people look and feel quite dim. Short and medium term predictions do not foresee significant improvement.

Stimulative actions taken by the U.S. Government did show to have some positive impact, but similar additional moves are nearly impossible - due to a highly divided and gridlocked U.S. Government that is focused on deficit reduction. It is commonly accepted that a short-term surge of economic demand - i.e. the desire and ability for consumers and companies to spend money on goods and services - is a necessary catalyst for true recovery. Thus the question arises: What can give rise to such a demand-based catalyst?


As a nation, we f
aced a very similar economic/governmental divide in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Although the Great Depression had officially ended, many post-depressionary indicators were still abysmal. In 1938, unemployment still hovered around 20%, while in 1940 the rate was stuck at a stubbornly painful 15%. Following some of the most progressive economic legislation in history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the President at the time, faced a legislative body with very little appetite for further stimulative action and deficit spending. Instead of further stimulus, F.D.R. made the mistake of reducing government spending and undercutting the fragile, demand-starved, economy of the time. Our nation faced an eerily similar precipice to the one we face today.

What saved the U.S. economy from a stagnating death spiral in 1940? World War II. The global conflict that had raged from 1939, finally embroiled the United States in 1941. Victory required massive industrial, logistical, informational, and human output. Tanks and planes, roads and boats, computers and telephones, soldiers and laborers were all newly necessary. By 1942, unemployment was below 5%, by 1944, it was below 2%. Although the war had cost the world millions of lives, it was also the positive demand catalyst for a glorious fifty years of U.S. economic prosperity.

What are the ramifications for today? A global, human conflict of necessity where the economy is positively stimulated across the board, i.e. a World War III, is a near impossibility. Nuclear weaponry has made certain of this. An extraterrestrial invasion of planet Earth would be a more viable alternative. A united human front against alien aggression could be just the right medicine for our economic doldrums - a raison d'ĂȘtre for a whole new era of defense infrastructure and equipment. Millions could be put back to work for a common good while underutilized factories would be retrofitted to help meet our new intergalactic challenge.

For this scenario to
work, our invaders must not be too powerful so as to actually defeat and/or enslave the human race. In addition, for maximum U.S. benefit, major battles and associated collateral damage outside of the North American continent would be preferable. A global conflict between an extraterrestrial power and a united human resistance would near-certainly serve as a massive catalyst for economic demand.

...Or our government leaders in Washington and corporate leaders across the country can get their shit together so that I wouldn't need to argue for the merits of an alien invasion...

Friday, March 19, 2010

RocketHub

I've moved my thoughts over to RocketHub. Please take a look at my new venture and my related musings on the RocketHub Blog.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sink or Swim

When I was a child I had a fear of swimming. I felt that it was physically impossible for me to stay afloat in any large body of water - that struggling, sinking, and drowning were inevitable.

This fear might have stemmed from having two close encounters with such a fate - once due to the undercurrents of Long Island beaches, the second time due to an oddly shaped pool. Sinking seemed to want me.

After many years of trying and failing, at the age of thirteen, I finally learned how to swim. But it wasn't in the ocean or in a pool - I learned how to overcome my fear in a river. It just took a little change in order for me to swim.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Let Down Conan O'Brien

I like Conan O'Brien. I really do. But I just couldn't watch him every night. Maybe once or twice a week...but not every night. I fall smack-dab in the middle of this group - I find the man funny and entertaining, but he's just a small part of my much larger media-drenched existence.

What I will miss about his Tonight Show is the comforting consistency of a light and fluffy, nightly broadcast. That's why Jay Leno was successful, he gave this comfort to those who weren't as media-drenched as my generation is - to those who would tune in 3 or 4 times a week.

I believe Conan will be much more successful on cable - particularly on a channel like HBO - where advertising pressure and viewership quotas are less important, where the quality of the entertainment draws viewers to purchase subscriptions, and where comforting consistency could be an important component of a larger entertainment portfolio.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Human Bottleneck

In the world of alcoholic beverages, the bottleneck is the narrowest point of a bottle. It slows the flow of liquid. In the world of business and management, the bottleneck represents the narrowest point of a particular process. It slows the progress of development and thus constrains the whole process to its own limited capacities.

In manufacturing, the bottleneck can be a machine. In traffic, the bottleneck is a stalled car, an accident, or a construction zone. In the world of creativity and intellectual creation, the bottleneck is usually a person or a group of people.

Although potentially time-consuming and resource-intensive, upgrading a machine or clearing an accident is usually pretty straight-forward. Dealing with the human bottleneck isn't. Emotions make even broaching the subject tricky. Fixing the human bottleneck takes a lot more than just good project management - it takes a bit of friendliness, a good deal of empathy, and a touch of the Iron Fist approach.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Mobile Upgrade

I've had my old BlackBerry mobile phone for nearly three years. Due to a lack of time and patience, I've been putting off an upgrade for quite a few months. But as the keyboard loses its responsiveness and the screen dies a slowly dimming death, I will be forced to make the upgrade decision within weeks.

Three years ago, this decision was pretty simple. If I wanted to send and receive emails, surf the mobile web (kinda), and make phone calls, the BlackBerry had nearly no competition - it was essentially the only real "smartphone." Today, hundreds of phones fit this description. Some have tactile keyboards, some have touchscreens, and some have both. Most have some sort of digital application marketplace - where I can buy cool, downloadable programs and games. Nearly all are reasonably priced.

Within a few short years, the smartphone is nearly a universal device. Manufacturers have realized the potential for this next generation of devices. This rapid flood of new phones has surely made my decision more difficult - and I have the feeling that I'm not the only one.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

0 for 1

Sports comparisons, analogies, and metaphors are often used to symbolize the ins-and-outs of business - e.g. the home run, the slam dunk, the batting average, home-field advantage, winning percentage etc. For many, sports is the ultimate representation of the real world, in particular for the world of commerce.

Although themes from sports do often work for representing reality, one fundamental concept is treated very differently in business - the concept of failure. An basketball player that misses 60% of his three-pointers is considered a resounding success. A baseball player who doesn't hit the ball 70% of the time is considered to be pretty good.

A management consultant or marketer who experiences such failure would be considered...a failure. So let's not get carried away with with using sports as the ultimate symbol, because if we did, we'd be living in a much more mediocre world.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Coming Home

There is no better feeling than coming home. After a long trip, arriving to see the familiar locale of one's abode creates comfort, relief, and happiness. Coming home gives the mind seamless freedom and releases an inner compartment of untapped creativity. Hopefully being home will allow for more blog posts.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Rout Moment

Tonight I watched my beloved New York Knicks completely destroy the Indiana Pacers. The final score was 132-89 - a high-scoring and very lopsided basketball result. The Knicks have been terrible for nearly a decade, so such results have been very rare. It was refreshing to enjoy a basketball game from beginning to end with very little fear or anxiety.

But unfortunately, in the NBA regular season, each team plays 82 games - so in the grand scheme of things this result is fairly insignificant. It could signify a larger trend for the Knicks or it could be an ephemeral fluke. Compared to the average life, one game is comparable to one moment. But this was one awesome rout moment.

It's often difficult to enjoy every game, every moment. But rout moments are special - they represent overcoming challenges, defeating fear, and reaching personal fulfilment. Rout moments must be fully savored. This holiday season brought a lot of rout moments for me - for these I am extremely thankful.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Patent Is a Virtue

The large Finnish communications company, Nokia, filed a massive legal action against Apple today. The complaint alleges that Apple has infringed on numerous Nokia patents throughout nearly all of Apple's current product portfolio. If proven to be true, this complaint could have major ramifications for Apple - something that was evident in Apple's declining stock price following the announcement of the legal action.

In a world where "free" seems to be the hip new business model, this event shows the relative dominance of old capitalistic principles. The international protection of innovation and the investments required to create such innovation will be clearly tested. The sales of expensive hardware are still so significant so as to foster this continuous innovation - and the consequent struggles over fundamental intellectual property.

So we end a decade in which the proliferation of digital distribution of information goods has made charging for something into nearly a sin, with the ultimate battle over the most basic business model - over who has the right to charge a fair price for the mobile phone.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why the Top?

It seems that the media loves to reminisce. Over the past few weeks I've read, heard, and saw hundreds of top-10/top-100 lists depicting the best/worst of 2009 and of the past decade. Everything from iPhone apps to music to sociological phenomenons to scientific breakthroughs has been scrutinized and ranked.

Now a little bit of nostalgia is always fun but never have I seen such a heightened sense of past-awareness. Is the future so uncertain that all we can do is wrap ourselves in the safety of previous events? This is probably a big part of the answer for mediums such as newspapers and magazines - which might not even exist by the time 2019 rolls around.

But why are so many bloggers so obsessed with cataloguing the past 1-10 years? Probably because it's such an easy concept to turn into quasi-meaningful content. A ten minute search can revive my memory of nearly any concept. The 2000-2009 decade is the first to have broadband documentation of every significant moment. So top-10/top-100 lists are the perfect mix of convenience and nostalgia.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home Alone - Part 2

Home Alone was released in November 1990, almost exactly a year following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unofficial conclusion of the Cold War. Although it would be absurd to claim there is any sort of direct link between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the theatrical release of Home Alone, the two do have an interesting symbolic symmetry.

The fall of the Berlin Wall represented the culmination of ultimate distraction. The Soviet Union was no longer able to keep a close watch over its large collection of children. All hell broke loose when some of the children were left to fend for themselves. But in the end, the innocent nature of new-found freedom prevailed (at least in the short-term).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home Alone Time - Part 1

With the Holiday Season in full swing, Home Alone is now a frequent visitor to my television screen. This ageless comedy depicts the struggles of a clever 8-year-old boy as he attempts to fend off a pair of bumbling home robbers. The boy has been left alone due to the distracted nature of his extended family which has departed for a vacation to Paris.

Although the movie has numerous unbelievable moments, it clearly depicts the instinctive intelligence, perseverance, and nimble nature of a modern child. This child is able to quickly learn the basics of survival. He successfully communicates with all the adults he encounters and is able to defeat the two evildoers which attempt to plunder his kingdom (the family house).

Although this film is superficially simple entertainment, it is also full of quite timely and extremely relevant lessons. Tomorrow I will analyze Home Alone through the historical context of the Cold War.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Safe Cells?

Mobile telephony has been plagued by the rumors of negative side-effects since the beginning of widespread adoption. Scientists have issued countless studies that have yielded in contradictory evidence concerning the safety of cell phones. The public perception of physical dangers has fluctuated but has never seemed to slow the proliferation of ever-more sophisticated mobile handsets and ever-more ubiquitous mobile usage.

Today, it was announced that the Maine legislature is considering requiring mobile phones to carry warnings about potential negative effects - such as cancer. This would be the first time that such a public and reputable warning would be attached to mobile phones in the United States. It would conceptually make mobile phones similar to cigarettes and alcohol.

Would such a warning have any influence on mobile usage? Potentially - especially if steps to minimize risk were clearly outlined - e.g. using the speakerphone option, etc. But unless these warnings are based on new, more conclusive studies, the massive expansion of mobile will not be slowed. Unless more short-term negative effects become clear, the positive efficiency impact of mobile services will continue to push further adoption.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Apple's Safe Society

Apple has received a lot of criticism for making the iPhone application universe a closed system. Every single application must be vetted by Apple's mysterious approval process before it makes it to the iTunes app store. This system is quite different from how Internet-enabled and PC-based applications function - where free-for-all rules rules govern how applications are created and distributed.

Although I agree that a closed system is highly flawed in many ways, it is also an extremely comforting mechanism. In a world where any web pop-up, email attachment, or even Twitter/Facebook link could lead to virus hell, it's very pleasant to not worry about whether an application will disrupt my iPhone.

No matter how controlling, limiting, and ultimately closed the iPhone ecosystem remains, it sure is very user-friendly - down to the inherent peace-of-mind concerning every single application download.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Twitter Decline?

I've found myself not utilizing Twitter's services very frequently over the past few weeks. Although my schedule has been disrupted by travel and odd work-hours, the most telling sign for Twitter's potential decline is my lack of caring. No longer do I feel the urgency to view the constant glow of the Twitter stream - stemming either directly from Twitter.com or from any of the Twitter-enabled applications.

Although I am just one person - whose personal habits probably have nothing to do with larger trends - it has been documented that Twitter's traffic over the past few months is stagnating. I have encountered a good deal of anecdotal evidence of similar usage trends amongst friends and family.

It would be a revolutionary leap in Internet-enabled trend cycles if Twitter has indeed already crested. Only a few months after culturally peaking as the darling of Oprah, Twitter now faces a potential ceiling. Although this slowdown may be quite temporary - as was the case for other hits such as Facebook - it may also signal a deeper and more fundamental lacking of the Twitter value-proposition.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Magic of the Holidays

The holiday season is well under way. As much of the world celebrates some sort of festivity over the next month, the themes of happiness, friendliness, and overall support are in the air. Another prominent concept permeating our psyche is the concept of giving.

Although giving usually refers to material-item gifting, the most effective giving is intangible. It involves emotional and intellectual gifts. I suspect that this is the season where giving or receiving the benefit of the doubt is a bit more likely. This is the right time to throw up the Hail Mary, to take that leap of faith.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Deconstructing Fear

I've been doing a lot of traveling lately - hence the erratic blog-posting schedule. This experience has allowed me to re-discover my general loathing of air travel. Now this is an old and worn-out topic, so let my try to take a slightly different approach.

Some things surrounding air travel are annoying - e.g. the strange flight-times, the humiliating security checks, the waiting game, delays, cancellations, etc. A smaller set of air travel characteristics is frightening - e.g. the takeoff, turbulence, seeing the world from 30,000 feet, and the landing. I don't mind the annoying parts - that's the cost of productive live meetings. It's the frightening stuff that makes me question the need to fly.

Although the fear-induced stress is ever-present throughout a flight, it particularly peaks during takeoff and during the landing. Clearly, the landing is the last hurdle prior to both physical and emotional relaxation. So the landing is the light at the end of the tunnel. It is the culmination of a somewhat risky relocation process. It is where the real work begins.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Close to the Future

How difficult would it be to describe flying in an airplane to someone from 1850? Pretty difficult. For someone from that era there is no relative comparison - nothing even comes close to that which can be used as an analogous description of today's air travel.

How difficult would it be to describe the Internet to someone from 1900? Somewhat difficult. In the era where labor (both physical and machine-based) was king, a worldwide information network would mean very little to the common man. Yet the value of information, particularly that of the newspaper, was quickly expanding.

How difficult is it to accurately imagine what radical innovation the near-future will bring? Not easy, but not impossible. We are more connected to the future than any generation before us. It is exactly the radical innovations of air travel and the Internet that make tomorrow more tangible. It's now nearly impossible for the future to hide and grow in a little, hidden cave.