Early in the morning of May 10, 1940, the pre-dawn sky above The Hague was suddenly full of black dots. German parachutists were sent all over Belgium to pave the way for a complete attack by German troops. Within hours, the Germans had destroyed more than half of the Belgian planes, reaching an almost momentary air force. As French and British troops rushed to respond, they withdrew from the station and quickly crossed them.
Within days, Germany had fully occupied Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, and had cut off the French First Army, Belgian Army, and British reconnaissance forces, which included 390,000 soldiers, as well as enough equipment to command the eight divisions. As German troops ran across northern France, Allied troops found themselves trapped along the coast, separated from the rest of the French army in the far south.
It was a military disaster. The Allied commanders had relied too heavily on outdated defensive work and were unfortunately not prepared for the effectiveness of the axis attack.
In addition to the loss of control of the territories, the Allies had the opportunity to lose more than 400,000 soldiers. When German troops reached the French coast on May 20, they turned north and destroyed all the ports and ships capable of transporting troops across the canal to Britain. There was a massacre coming out of the military route.
Have you ever had plans failed so spectacularly, it left you panicking and losing what to do next?
No doubt you have never faced a situation quite as dangerous as the Allied forces above. Any kind of failure is still a failure. It stings
Last week, I spoke on Wednesday about the upcoming social pulse summit and shared what my long-term vision of the event and the community we are building around it is. I didn’t share how stressed I’ve been about it.
As the days turned into weeks for which registration was open, I was constantly waiting for the moment when registrations began to crash. And that moment has not come. Sure, a lot of people have signed up for the summit, and the event itself is going to be great, but one yardstick by which to measure and hold myself accountable is attendance, and with this measure I have failed. We currently have only 35% of our estimated attendance, and we are unlikely to reach 60% until registration ends in late December.
It’s not right for me.
As for work, you might call me extravagant. Success is a very important thing to me, and if it means working at night and on the weekends, inviting applause or even unusual approaches, I’m all inside.
When registrations were lost this week, I sent emails to speakers and sponsors encouraging them to share with their communities. I sent a special email to you and my other subscribers. I wrote new blog posts that will be published, worked with my ad group on new approaches, and even made progress throughout the event at Product Hunt. (You, too, may have seen an email about it.)
Still, despite everything, people just didn’t meet the expected speed. By the end of the week, we were really appealing to our paid media to stop spending so quickly. People were signing up, but it cost us five times more than past events.
Of course I want and I need to know why, and my first fear was that it was me, us, the event, the subject … something at the core of the personal and profound. I suspect it may be because Twitter is not the most popular or interesting platform, and it led me to worry that I had made a critical mistake in choosing that platform as the focus of this event. As the French think, their Maginot line keeps the Germans away.
The reality is certainly much more complex. Focusing on a more popular and attractive platform, such as Instagram, may have helped, but the event has been hampered by a global pandemic and a serious disruption to the U.S. election. Other recent event organizers I’ve spoken to have experienced a similarly weak response. It’s somewhat comforting to know it’s not “just me,” but it doesn’t help the end result of the company.
What would you do? How would you react to a situation where you knew it was hopeless, yet you just have to hold on to hope?
On May 25, 1940, the British Prime Minister Churchill decided to hold office for barely two weeks and dismissed France and Europe under German responsibility. Just six months earlier, Britain and France had rejected Germany’s peace proposal (which would have allowed them to control Poland and have time to better arm themselves with the war with Russia) and have now noticed their defeat in the face. However, the rejection of France did not have to mean the abandonment of 390,000 British troops and tens of thousands of French infantry on the coast.
If you’ve seen a great and dramatic movie Dunkirk, you know what happens next.
The small maritime town of Dunkirk had a barely usable harbor and miles of beaches that were too shallow to bring ships to gather troops. Although German artillery was getting closer and closer and German planes were routinely bombing and plotting both men and men, Captain Tennant of the British Royal Navy intelligently used moles – sea walls that extend into the water – as starting points for soldiers. Assisted by countless private vessels – fishing trawlers, ferries and yachts – as far away as the Isle of Man and Glasgow, the crew rushed to take hundreds of thousands of soldiers off deadly shores and waiting ships to rescue paradises. and Dover, beyond.
That day, in the face of incomprehensible losses and impending doom, “Dunkirk Joe” assembled her husband and volunteer and saved more than 300,000 souls. The soldiers continued to fight and fed the war in the years to come, including tens of thousands of French soldiers who were rescued from the shore and returned home to fight in the south of France a few hours later.
In the next few days, more people will come to learn about the Social Pulse Summit and interested in learning more from Twitter and those great speakers, so we’ll get more registrants. Yet I now know that it is impossible for me to achieve my original goal. No effort or money will overcome the nausea that is still in everyone’s minds that we hoped to achieve, so I have instead set a new goal that will serve me well in this event and still support future events and future goals.
The Social Pulse Summit is the most educational and interesting event the participant has attended this year.
Participants like you will, of course, learn from Twitter and how to leverage this platform for their business, but you’ll also learn about Goldie Chan’s personal branding, creating a great digital presence from Chris Brogan, and interestingly, you learn from Jay Acunzo what to do when Plan A fails. Boy, does that sound like the advice we all need right now, right?
But I am not making this event a success, it is the energy and enthusiasm that you and Debra and Madaly are bringing. It’s Jessika, Troy and Tricia, as well as hundreds of other speakers and participants who participate in live and table discussions, panels and discussions. The spirit of community Dunkirk, where people come together to help each other.
Hope to see you in the community on Wednesday. http://thesmh.co/SPS-Twitter