Love for Cicadas

By JJ Rosen July 10, 2024
love for cicadas

I love cicadas!

They remind me of my beautiful wife.

Now before you cringe, it’s not what you think.

As it so happens, our outdoor wedding 26 years ago happened to perfectly coincide with the cyclical 13-year emergence of the cicadas.

It was a joyous occasion as we proclaimed our love for each other while being serenaded by thousands of bugs. They seemed to scream louder just as my wife said, “I do” (they were happy for her, I think…) And some of the more friendly cicadas were even able to join us for the reception as they enjoyed dinner and dancing with our human guests.

But my fondness for cicadas isn’t just purely sentimental.

As these strange insects emerge, they bring with them some valuable lessons that apply to both business and life.

Preparation is critical…

Cicadas spend the better part of a decade or two just chilling underground, sucking on tree roots, growing up, and presumably swapping stories of the great above. Then, when the time is right, they burst forth, ready to sing (or scream) for a mate. This epic reveal is akin to the R&D phase in business, where a lot of time is spent behind the scenes perfecting a product. Like cicadas, companies might appear dormant, but they could simply be biding their time, preparing for a market debut that’s as noisy and unavoidable as a cicada’s mating call.

Timing is everything…

Timing, as the cicadas will tell you, is everything. If a cicada misreads the calendar, it might arrive at a party where it’s the only guest—or worse, where the predators have all the invites. In business, launch your product or service too early, and the

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market yawns; too late, and the competition eats you for lunch. Cicadas have perfected their timing over millennia; companies need to catch up, or they’ll find themselves either partying alone or on the menu.

Resilience is a key to success…

Imagine spending your formative years underground only to have a few weeks to make all your life’s dreams come true, amidst predators who consider you a tasty snack. Cicadas are the epitome of “tough it out.” They survive underground, dodging moles and other dangers, to emerge en masse, betting on sheer numbers to overwhelm the threats. For businesses, resilience might mean surviving economic downturns or adapting to new tech disruptions. Either way, like cicadas, businesses must emerge ready to sing their hearts out, or risk getting stepped on.

Think long-term…

The cicadas plant seeds (literally) for the next generation before making their exit. Businesses would be wise to adopt this cicada-style forward thinking. It’s not just about what you’re doing now, but how it sets the stage for future growth—doing the groundwork for the next cycle of business life, ensuring your company doesn’t just end up as a forgotten fossil.

In the grand scheme of things, whether it’s the noisy crescendo of bugs at a wedding or the bustling dynamics of business, the message rings clear: Prepare diligently, consider your timing, be resilient, and always think of the future. JJ Rosen is the founder of Atiba, a custom software development firm and Nashville IT support company. Visit for more info.

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