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“Past performance is not indicative of future performance”

February 25, 2020 • Paul Woolf

It’s a common phrase mandated by the SEC and appears in nearly every ad or investment prospectus. However, despite this “buyer beware” warning, past performance matters. Virtually all decisions—financial, business or personal—rely to some degree on what happened in the past.

This belief guides a lot of our thinking at History Factory. Our philosophy of Start with the Future and Work Back™ is predicated on the idea that how you see the future should be guided by where you’ve been. On our new website, the first phrase that hits you is “You Are Here. Now What?” We recognize that today is a transition point between yesterday and tomorrow. Whether it involves telling your story, authenticating your purpose or marking major milestones, today’s vantage point has a profound impact on your company’s future.

If your organization has been around for a while, it has a lot of yesterdays. The longer you’ve been around, the more you can benefit if you look back. Which decisions were correct, and which missed the mark? Which ideas were worth pursuing, and which ones shouldn’t have seen the light of day? Which stories speak volumes about your company’s character, and which ones are simply entertaining or colorful?

It’s not just about looking at your past to see what happened. It’s also about asking why and how, and examining external factors. When you do that, you get true historical insight.

Some of the largest, most respected organizations know that past performance can be indicative of future performance, and they embrace the creative possibilities of bringing their past to life as a way to drive business growth.

We asked our website copywriter, Steve Allen, and designer, Boris Geissler, to share some of their inspiration in revamping our website to better reflect History Factory’s beliefs.

What was your inspiration for the new website?

Steve Allen: Many companies today are at a critical juncture: How do you continue or surpass previous successes? We wanted to demonstrate in a visually arresting way that past achievements can lead directly to future accomplishments.

Boris Geissler:  Our goal was to truly distill what we do, making it easy for visitors to understand the value of our work and why our clients appreciate us. We wanted to point toward the future and show how clients evolve with us, past the now. With that in mind, it became clear that the concept of time, and how things change over time, provides a great creative wrapper to communicate the importance of the past, present and future.

How do you think this site builds on the previous site?

SA: The previous site highlighted the importance of being authentic and the value of using unique content from the past to support authenticity. This new site goes a step further. It illustrates that a company’s singular and ownable heritage isn’t an artifact. When properly understood and implemented, it’s an invaluable tool that can inspire future advances and growth.

BG: While the previous campaign and iteration of our website focused on the concept of authenticity and on “what we do,” we now return to the core reason, or the “why.” Our work matters as we help our clients transition to the next stage. The story of their future begins in the past. And with the current campaign, I think we found a great way to get that point across.

What do you think a visitor will find most surprising?

SA: Visitors will be surprised to learn that even the most transformative leaps in corporate evolution are connected to what came before. Grasping the importance of the past, and knowing how to use it, fuels visionary technologies, developments and innovations.

BG: I love how eye-catching the visuals turned out. The imagery captures visions of rapid, evolutionary change, using iconic and celestial imagery signifying endless possibilities for future advancement. Having a beautiful black-and-white photograph of an old airplane cropped and aligned creatively to bleed into a futuristic rendering of an astronaut in space looks just so stunning. And that’s just one of many visuals that really capture the message that learning from the past will help you plan for the future.

 

Interested in learning more about how your yesterday can inspire your tomorrow? Contact us today.

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