Seems Lois Lane and BoSacks have something in common. Both are convinced that no matter how dark it may seem at the moment, the light will return, and those who see the darkness for what it is will see new possibilities in their challenges.
In a recent post, BoSacks quotes Lois Lane from the movie The Justice League. She writes: “Darkness, the truest darkness isn’t the absence of light; it is the conviction that the light will never return. But the light always returns to show us things familiar, home, family, and things entirely new or long overlooked. It shows us new possibilities and challenges us to pursue them.”
We’ve certainly seen the darkness this year, and as BoSacks notes in his annual year-end message, it’s had an impact on every corner of our lives.
“Nothing has been unaffected,” he writes. “Yet here we stand with the death rate still on the rise. Nevertheless, I believe we are at the turning of the tide with the light of functioning vaccines finally on the horizon. Will 2021 be different? Yes, in so many ways — some known, some forecast, and some changes still unknowable.”
BoSacks made a prediction in late April of this year, in which the “new normal” would make it seem like we’ve been in a time machine.
“If your business was in decline, that decline was now accelerated,” he wrote. “If your business was doing well, the methodologies and the technology you used for success should/could lead to further achievements, if not now, then in the near future.”
We saw it happen. Disruption is this industry’s “new normal,” something BoSacks declared before the pandemic was even on the horizon back in early 2019. This year we’ve seen innovation in fast motion, as publishers went into high gear to evolve their business models to meet changing consumer behavior. Those that did are thriving.
We learned a lot about the magazine industry this year, in a crash course no one was expecting. We saw subscription rates surge for magazines that truly connected with their readers’ needs. We saw the humble city newsstand become a hero of the pandemic. We saw membership models thrive. And we saw readers genuinely embrace the titles that mean something to them.
There is of course the downside. As BoSacks notes, far too many people in our industry lost their livelihoods this year. Yet the returning light brings hope.
“I suspect by June of 2021 we will see start-ups galore and new publications popping up everywhere hopefully reemploying our lost and furloughed team members,” BoSacks continues. “In retrospect, the roaring 20s of the last century is easily now more understandable, and I expect the same lust for life to be demonstrated everywhere in our new normal of a future. The exuberance of survival can be most intoxicating and long-lasting.”
In the meantime, it’s on us all to look toward 2021 with hope, with optimism, with respect for what’s been lost and what we’ve learned, and with resolve. In closing, I’ll leave you with BoSacks’ words. And wish you a happy, healthy and innovative New Year.
“We can’t go back in time to change what has happened, but we can proceed for a more hopeful and better tomorrow. Paraphrasing Omar Khayyam, the pen is in your hands and 2021 is yet to be written. It is now time to write your own future to the best of your abilities. Be creative, be imaginative and be courageous.
“History has proven that plagues come and then they go, that business downturns appear when least expected and retreat just the same, that the winter is cold only to be followed by the beauty of a warm summer’s day. But the most enduring cycle throughout history is our love of family and friends. Like superheroes, I believe that love is our secret power, and with it we sustain ourselves with the love of family and friends.” ~BoSacks, 12/19/2020