Here in Alberta, Canada the federal and provincial governments have been telling everyone we need to get vaccinated against the H1N1 virus. Yup this is a nasty strain of flu that is killing the young and the healthy.

The media has been playing this up too with stories in almost every edition.

Initially there were long line-ups and a run on the vaccination clinics.

Last week, someone I know was at an adult dance class and the instructor was telling the students they would not be touching hands tonight and that the government had decided to focus on high priority groups and the rest of them would have to take their chances. We may all die, but for now, let's dance.

Now there is a shortage of vaccinations and they will be focusing on the high risk groups (young children, pregnant women, chronically ill, etc.). The rest of us will have to wait until Christmas before everyone is processed.

Of course everyone high up in the government agencies is claiming two things:

  • The high turn-out was a big surprise, and
  • It's not our fault we are running out of vaccine, we are just the distributor.

This was not a bi-election with low voter turnout.

This was something that played to one of two very important motivators: fear and greed.

After scaring the bejeebers out of everyone for 6 months, they were surprised people actually showed up. Well I am not surprised by the outcome nor the response.

But the purpose of this story is not to bash the government.

It is to make a point about business, something you might be able to impact or change.

If you are going through the trouble of building something great and then marketing it… be prepared; plan for success. Don't make excuses.

You may only get one shot so it's time to dance.