Sad because just 6 months ago they were doubtless convinced of their own immortality, their managerial superiority, and their ability to create a masterful enterprise.
Same traps - different time frame and industry. Mortgage lenders who weren't playing fast and loose, and who made sure that their loaners were people who actually intended to pay off the entire loan have found themselves suddenly as the last man standing.
Large scale miners who didn't load up on cheap debt to buy at the top of the market find themselves in a position to pick through the ashes of the commodities industry for diamonds that are worth salvaging.
And lest we forget - bankers who kept their heads during the heydays are still profitable are in an incredibly enviable position and able to promote themselves into new markets as responsible, ethical and above all else - a safe haven.
All booms bust - still.
The DotCom boom and the "new economy" didn't go on forever and didn't mean that everyone could be a millionaire. Fast profits are not guaranteed by flipping real estate, or by holding for just a few years.
And despite all of the hoopla and hype the commodities super-cycle lasted about 5 years instead of the 100 we were thinking it would do.
How about that? Change remains the only constant. Tomorrow is going to be vastly different from yesterday, and anybody who tells you different is either fooling themselves or trying to fool you.
Winning over the medium and longer term has always - ALWAYS - been about consistency. Being able to trot out tried and true methods when everyone else is touting the latest craze, and being able to continue using standard practices, on a broad client base, with steady (not stellar) success.
Cold calling - works. If you use it to start a relationship not make a sale.
Networking - works. If you use it to make connections and not just contacts.
Providing services that deliver measurable value - works. Every time; rain, hail or snow.
Developing Trust Based Assets - works, and is probably the most valuable thing you can be doing with your spare time.
Delivering value, asking for a referral, being honest... the list goes on and on.
Sure, there are some flash technologies, some are even worthwhile getting on board with. And sure there are some great ways to package up and sell your services. Some of which will even help you to get great yields from your consulting time.
But steady-steady will still win the race. Get the fundamentals right, keep your head when everyone else is losing theirs, and you will still be playing the game in twenty years time. (While other jack rabbits disappear from view)