Channel markets

Dispatches From Mexico City: Looking For Nuance

Author: Ty Trumbull
Author: Ty Trumbull

Last night I watched the movie Sicario for the first time. It’s a brilliant thriller about the consequences of violence set amidst the drug war along the Mexican-U.S. border. The performances are nuanced, the action scenes thrilling and suspenseful, and the violence depicted in is alarmingly realistic.

The film caused a bit of a stir when it was released in 2015. The mayor of Ciudad Juarez called for a boycott of the film at the time, claiming the film presented an undeservedly negative portrait of the city. He believed the violence depicted in the film would have been accurate five years before its release, but in the intervening years they had made progress toward restoring peace.

Differences In Perception

Reading about it all started me thinking about perception. Obviously, there are occurrences of violence in many parts of Mexico (my current home), but does the magnifying glass of the media distort the picture in any way?

This isn’t a claim of fake news or anything like that. I’m fairly confident that most of the things I read from reputable sources are accurate, but the very nature of the news is that it reports on the darker side of the world. Narco wars get way more clicks than a puebla improving its infrastructure or building a new town square.

Alarmists Vs. Optimists

For some people, the sky is always falling and others never see a cloud in the sky. Alarmists and optimists. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle usually.

In the last few days:

  • 750 volunteers planted trees for a butterfly sanctuary;
  • six Mexican college students began a 15-day-long ‘mission on Mars’; and
  • Adriana Jiménez took home the silver medal for Mexico in the women’s 20-meter high diving event at the World Aquatics Championships.

Long live the optimists among us.

The Whole Story

I don’t think it’s fair to say “don’t believe the news,” but we should remind ourselves that the news isn’t the full story. Neither are movies a good barometer for the reality of a place.

When we were planning on moving here many of our friends and family were, if not completely against it, at least hesitant. One friend even told me to bring a gun. Because of that, for the first month we lived here was spent looking over our shoulders. We had allowed people to instill fear in us and it deeply affected how we saw our new home.

But slowly the adrenaline of the move receded and we began to see the city and country four ourselves. And it was a beautiful and engaging city full of culture and life.

So my point is, don’t always believe the hype. Sometimes you have to experience things before you can really judge them. Sometimes the popular perception of a place is incorrect or at least lacks nuance. And nuance is a great thing. Just like the performances in Sicario.

The MSP Perspective

Recognizing nuance is a good tool. Even in the MSP sphere, one company's solution could seem as good as the next. But dig a little deeper and you begin to see the differences. I enjoy those little discrepancies because they're fun to write about. But a channel partner or endpoint customer should be looking to those to find what best suits them. Choosing an MSP toolset, talent or business strategy might not be as scary a prospect as moving to a new country. But it can be an intimidating undertaking when you look at the scope of the industry. Looking for the nuances will help a lot in landing on your final decision.