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Losing is Reality

In Richard Linklater's Bad News Bears remake, the team of misfits led by Billy Bob Thorton do not win the ultimate championship game. (Sorry if that spills the beans for you).

In a TIME interview (July 18), Linklater says he wasn't surprized when kids and parents watching advance runs of the film differed in their reaction to the final outcome. Kids liked the ending. Parents did not.

Kids are apparently more tuned in to reality than their folks. According to Linklater, "Most of us are losers most of the time." OUCH.

The point is - don't ever assume you know how your audience is going to respond. Linklater had a hunch what kids wanted, but he took the time to get "ground truth" and test the ending against his assumptions.

Suggestion: Take your executive team to watch Bad News Bears then stop at Starbucks, order fancy drinks and ask this question: "Where have our assumptions not lined up with reality, and how can we avoid that in the future?"

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