Blog: Eric Cedo

Eric Cedo is our guest blogger this week. Eric is the founder of BrainGain Marketing and the former executive director of CreateDetroit. He blogs frequently on BrainGain's Michigan-focused, a site dedicated to the local creative community.

Check back here each week day to read Eric's thoughts on attracting and keeping young talent and building up Southeast Michigan's creative community.

Post No. 2

We knew this day would come…the natural "Dip" of painful change and the awkward place of transition. Moving from the most highly trained manufacturing workforce in the world – during the industrial age – to a highly skilled workforce in the information age takes painful change and transition. Think about that time in your life…usually somewhere around high school graduation… that point of boldly declaring what you’re going to be when you grow up. Now think about the journey to get there. People all lined up at your graduation party, card and money in hand giving you tons of moral support in your effort to be the next great brain surgeon or Bill Gates or maybe even Bill Clinton – God Forbid. Then came that one course.

As Seth Godin writes in his recent book, "The Dip" for pre-med students its Organic Chemistry. All the great intentions and well wishes are out the window when it comes to passing Organic Chemistry. It’s the natural barrier that we as a society put up between a yahoo for a brain surgeon and a brain surgeon for a brain surgeon. The Dip eliminates the meek and the mild, the faint of heart.

I recall back in May of 2004 when nearly 2,000 people stood up at "The Max" and declared at the inaugural CreateDetroit event "I AM DETROIT." It was the new economy working class’ rallying cry, the bold declaration of unity and solidarity as we marched toward that vision of a new Detroit prospering from the knowledge and creativity of the masses. You would have thought you were back in the 30’s during a union rally or something. The whole concept was formed from the work of a book entitled "Rise of the Creative Class" for goodness sake.

But then for some strange reason we all went back to work the next day. Back to the grind in our region that was built for a different past age. Since that time some have continued to journey, continued to live out the dream of moving to a knowledge economy. I drank the Kool-Ade and I’m trying to do my part. After all it just takes every person in the City to do the same, that’s all. It’s not easy, necessary change never is.

The question we must ask ourselves as a region: Do we have what it takes? Are we the yahoo or we the tough gritty hardworking never quit people that we’ve always claimed to be. Organic Chemistry is our current course. Report cards are coming home soon. Are you ready to give up or are you just starting to dig in?