It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.


The ability to succeed is not always determined by being first out of the gate. Sometimes it is measuring your pace to ensure you are capable of getting successfully to the finish line with the very best that you can generate.

So many of our clients are focused on trying to be first to be best, and we are always reminding them that first out of the gate is not always the winning move. In many cases, we can point out a situation where a later contender overtook all of the “early to premiere” experiences.

In 1987 – 1988, one of my favorite examples of this phenomenon occurred…

In October of 1987, “Like Father, Like Son” came out, starring Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron. It was the story of a mysterious potion that switches the personalities of a buttoned up doctor and his laid back son. 

Six months later, in April of 1988, “18 Again!” appeared in the theaters, telling the story of an aging ruthless businessman who swaps bodies with his grandson in the wake of getting into a car accident. It starred George Burns and Charlie Schlatter.

So, two months later, in June of 1988… why would any audience want to see yet another comedy about a young boy finding himself magically transferred into a grown man’s body? There had already been two films in the last 9 months, with this plot… who needs a third?

That is when the magical film directed by Penny Marshall, starring Tom Hanks, called Big arrived on the scene. It is the story of a pre-adolescent boy whose wish to be “big” transforms him physically into an adult.  Does the plot sound redundant? I bet the studio execs were pondering this issue as they calculated their release strategy.

Here’s the box office score…

Like Father, Like Son Box Office $34.4 million

18 Again! Box Office $2.5 million

Big Box Office $151.7 million

Big, which was last to market made almost 5x the other two films combined. Why? Because it was by far the very best of the three. It had heart. It made the audience feel deeper feelings. Tom Hanks was still very early in his career, with 7 fairly substantial films to his credit, plus television series, so his presence did not make it happen all by itself. Penny Marshall had already directed Jumping’ Jack Flash with Whoopi Goldberg, but she had yet to hit her apex as an A list director prior to making Big. It boils down to story, acting, directing, producing, editing, and just great filmmaking.

As brilliant as Confucius was, he did not foresee Penny and Tom’s Big success story. But he did see the value in staying the course, approaching your effort with diligence, determination, dedication, fortitude and tenacity.

In the end, those resources combined with outstanding creativity and a penchant for excellence will always win the day!

Happy Friday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!