Wall Street Journal Office Is Decorated With Reminders to Backup

Since I was a kid, I’ve collected Newspaper front pages from major historical events, so when I was recently at the Wall Street Journal offices in Washington, D.C, I was very excited about the really cool “exhibit” in their lobby area.

They’d decorated the walls with framed Wall Street Journal front pages from some of the most important dates in American history. There was the WSJ from Friday, November 22,1963, which was, of course, the day that President Kennedy was assassinated. There was the WSJ from Monday, October 28, 1929, the original Black Monday Wall Street Crash. There was Tues, September 11th, 2001 (the World Trade Center attacks), and a few other major events.

Historic Events aren’t always expected

Unlike this example of a Wall Street Journal Front Page Headline covering a major event that happened the day prior, the “exhibited” pages were from the actual date of the major event.

But at first glance, they were rather unremarkable pieces of art. You see, there was nothing on any of those front pages about any of those events. Only when you looked at the date on the page was there any sign of why the paper had significance.

Why? Because in those early mornings, when those papers, dripping with fresh ink, found their way into readers’ hands, those historic events hadn’t happened yet. Those events were reported the following day – November 23rd, October 29, September 12. But all those historic days started as just regular days. People reading the newspaper early that morning had no idea that the world would be upside down by nightfall.

Had the WSJ lobby been decorated with the next day papers, (the kind I collect) with well-known images and eye-grabbing headlines, that would’ve been cool. But what was  more powerful, and what the WSJ team was showing, was that you have no warning when tragedy will strike. It will happen and you must be prepared. That’s what those in the stock market have to do because by the time the story makes it to print, it’s too late to change. You see that in these pages. There is almost a vacuum, a silence before the storm. It’s haunting. You just look at it thinking—with almost an unfair pity on the readers and the writers—“They had no idea. They had no idea of what was about to happen to the world.”

Backup is one of the few things that lets you rewrite history

Backup ScreenShotStaring at those framed papers, I couldn’t help of think of what Dolly Drive does. We give you do-overs. We give you the ability to change history so what could be a personal tragedy—the loss of your most important stuff—can be averted with a single click.

I don’t at all mean this to trivialize the meaning of those national and world tragedies. But, I’m saying on a personal level, the loss of every one of your pictures, videos and documents—the recorded history of your life—is a tragedy in your own world, as impactful, if in a different way, than those national events.

So imagine if we could rewrite history. It’s human nature to look back and think, “if only we had known, we could have done something to avert this”. To a great extent, that’s backup. The chance to hit “do-over” and change the course of history for the better so that the next day isn’t spent recounting your loss of your personal, digital-life tragedy. Instead, it’s just another, unremarkable, small headline day.

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