August, 2014

Scott Webb Headshot

Scott WebbIf you received this copy of AQUA on time, today should be the centennial of the outbreak of World War I β€” in my opinion, the most significant event in modern history.

The world changes in a continuous manner, and no one single event can be said to β€œcause” our current state of affairs, but August 1914 is certainly a gigantic signpost pointing us down on the road we’ve traveled the last 100 years.

Nobody really saw it coming. It was a series of rocks on a mountainside, each precariously balanced but motionless. All was quiet. And then a nameless chauffer took a wrong turn in Sarajevo, and the first pebble slid.

I bring this up in a pool and spa magazine column because these events illustrate our tendency to discount the possibility of dramatic change. In July 1914, most of the Western world was pretty sure that the following summer was going to look a lot like the current version. They had no inkling of the changes that were upon them.

And today, we do the same thing. Throughout our industry this morning, most of us are dealing with the expedients of the moment, projecting today upon tomorrow, and calculating the future at the present rate. But if history teaches us anything, it’s that the present rate is about to change. Maybe a little, maybe a lot.

Scott Webb

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