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20 June 2022

Market Emojis: Situation horrible or opportunity?

There is a rollercoaster of emojis currently being discussed at water coolers, around kitchen tables, local bars and cafes – situation horrible or an opportunity? 

In 2018, Rob Isbitts, a senior contributor for Forbes and ex Wall Street Banker, reimagined the highs and lows of market change with emoji’s. He suggested that we can never know for sure where we are but nevertheless he narrowed down the market to just 12 emojis.

Rob also referenced the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009 where the market and emotions went from Euphoria to Despair in a mere 18 months. And back in 1987 it all happened in just a matter of weeks, culminating in a 23% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial average on October 19th. 

If you are familiar with Kübler Ross Change Model you may recognise this curve and how the emoji’s represent our reactions to significant change or upheaval.

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Situation horrible or glorious opportunity?

Benjamin Zanders story of the Manchester Shoe Company in his book The Art of Possibility, encapsulates a significant change to mind-set during times of uncertainty.

As the story goes, in the early 1900s, inspired by a desire to enter a new market, two (2) traveling salesmen were sent into a new region. A few days later, two (2) telegraphs were received independent of each other. One said,

“Situation horrible. They don’t wear shoes!” The other said, “Glorious opportunity, they don’t have any shoes yet!” 

What message would you act on and what emoji are you feeling?