Today, there is a very special breed of what I will loosely call ‘people’ – sadly they are a growing group, who manage to find the manure in even the cleanest stable. They are the ‘The Abominable No-men’ or women if you like. They see doom everywhere and they scare the living daylights out of an optimist such as I.

Napoleon Hill once said “In every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit.” Not to these guys, They couldn’t find seed in a canary cage! No, these folks are just plain miserable and they don’t like to be on their own, they spend an inordinate amount of time making the rest of us miserable too. They’re the sort of persons who light up a room when they leave it.

In my local town we have many of these folk. They simply can’t agree with any initiative. They don’t like the Civic Fathers progress or development, no matter how worthwhile, it must be stopped for any number of good reasons, all of which don’t always make a great deal of sense to the rest of us. Someone wants a new park landscape, the ‘No-men’ will find a rare species of Spanish duck that will soon become extinct if the lawn gets an extra two dozen paving stones; a sporting club wants a larger facility for the kids – ‘no can do’ they say. What about the possums? What a happy life these sad sods must endure?

I mention this mob because they are the patron saints of a little known club. ‘The Half Empty Glass Association’. You know the old story, a glass of water half filled – some will say it’s half full, others including the HEMGA’s esteemed club members, will plainly see that it’s HALF EMPTY. Nothing new here – but wait!

In marketing we like to deeply consider matters and while we depend on research and plenty of anecdotal material, part of our greatest weaponry is observation and it is this great visual tool that has led me to an interesting conclusion. I have observed over many situations that if a person fills a glass of water and someone else drinks half of it, the person who filled it will be certain that it’s half full. The person who drank it will almost certainly see it as half empty. So, without being accused of over zealous assumption [post hoc ergo propter hoc or in modern english “it is… therefore because it is.”] I can say in the absence of any proven research that in my opinion the guy who puts the effort in and creates something useful will always see the glass as half full. The taker, as I shall call them, having quenched their miserable thirst, see what is no longer there and say “it’s half empty”.

You can of course challenge this hypothesis. Go right ahead, but do be careful because now I have done what all marketers should be proud to do – I’ve built a perception. And how will it impact you? Well, if you are a member of the ‘half empty club’ maybe, just maybe you’ll think again before you see the emptiness and you may just see how full it really is. Got to go. I’m off to a protest meeting now – someone wants to build a water storage unit next to my house.