Doug Garnett’s Blog


2020, The Year of the Introvert. Things I Will Miss.

<strong>2020, The Year of the Introvert.</strong> Things I Will Miss.

It has been a wild ride of a year — including tremendous fun passing along dumpster fire and train wreck meme’s. There is no question we hope for a different type of year in 2021.

Yet as we leave this year, there are things I will miss.

In 2020 we had something in common with everyone we met — something we could commiserate about.

In the opening month or two of pandemic lockdown, the world became quiet again as the background soundtrack of traffic, airplanes, and a constant human buzz disappeared.

No early morning pressure for commuting…or late day either.

Quiet holidays and no pressure to make them “big events”.

Time and room to think.

The comfort of seeing strangers all around me also acting to protect each other.

We now get the milkman to deliver milk once a week (fortunately, with some additional goods).

Less traffic. Less air traffic.

No business travel (after a lifetime of constant and wearing travel).

There was something comforting shopping this morning in a store where everyone was respectfully distant and wearing masks. Why was it comforting? Hard to say. But it was,

My awareness that the push on things like testing in schools is quite unimportant compared with the growth that can come for a student separated from “fill ‘em up” style education.

Our government, despite incredible dysfunction, made stimulus payments and created a small business loan program because society’s well being is more important than theory and ideology. Perhaps one day pragmatism can return to governing.

Did I mention less traffic?

A tremendous set of very funny meme’s throughout the year on the topic of boredom.

We, as a world, as nations, and as family groups have experienced something entirely new to us. And we experienced living this changed life without being over hyped as in entertainment.

It turns out pandemic’s aren’t anything at all like what’s portrayed in the movies. We now know survival is about managing boredom and making very careful choices — not carrying an assault rifle to shoot zombies.

Watching retailers emerge from their massive bureaucratic HQ cocoons to rapidly make changes — like growing plexiglass protection for clerks and customers and choosing to pay employees extra.

No more dominance of crowded spaces in our lives and the constant irritation they bring. Not everyone is the same. But do we really need to inhabit crowded space as much of the time as is expected?

Are there things I won’t miss? Absolutely. I don’t want, in any way, to look back on 2020 as some idyllic time. In no idyll would 330,000 Americans die from a pandemic affecting millions more of our fellow citizens who mourn their loved ones. In no idyll would additional millions suffer the lingering symptoms of this horrible disease.

I make this list, then, in what might be a naive hope that perhaps some of the good things we created this year will stay on for the future.

Cheers to all. Happiest of holidays and all the best for a vaccinated 2021.


©2020 Doug Garnett — All Rights Reserved

Through my company Protonik LLC based in Portland Oregon, I consult with companies on their efforts around new and innovative products and explore what marketers should learn from the field of complexity science. An adjunct instructor are Portland State University, I also teach marketing, consumer behavior, and advertising.

As a specialty, I also advise a select group of clients attempting to bring new life to Shelf Potatoes or taking existing products to new markets. We also produced marketing materials for artists including documentaries.

You can read more about these services and my unusual background (math, aerospace, supercomputers, consumer goods & national TV ads) at

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