The curse of the ultra-popular

The curse of the ultra-popular

By Rajesh Setty on Thu 14 Jan 2010, 12:10 AM – 3 Comments

Photo Courtesy: Juvertson on Flickr

Most ideas wither and wilt in the marketplace. Some ideas take off brilliantly and become ultra-popular. Like any adoption curve, some people get it quickly (early adopters) but most people will wait for the ideas to get baked and time-tested before they jump in to embrace them.

Both (early adopters and late adopters) have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Early adopters might get a “hit” as they are always trying new things. However, since not all of them are “hits,” they might also end up going in circles.

Late adopters have a better chance of succeeding as they follow time-tested methods. However, they have lost the “hit advantage” enjoyed by early adopters

This article is specifically focused on late adopters of ultra-popular stuff. If you are one of them, you need to avoid “the curse of the ultra-popular.”

The curse is simply that once something becomes ultra-popular, there is no premium paid for learning it. The marketplace does not provide you “special status” for knowing the ultra-popular. After sometime, the ultra-popular is nothing more than table stakes.

Being aware or this is avoiding the curse as you don’t expect a “premium” for learning the ultra-popular. Your expectations are in order.

If you are not aware, you will end up expecting a premium for your investment in learning the ultra-popular and when you don’t get it, you are heart-broken.

Have a great day!


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3 Comments so far, Add Yours

Brad Gosse  on January 14th, 2010

What part of the curve do you fall into Raj?

I know I am an early adopter which also means I try new things that sometimes never make the mainstream.

Rajesh Setty  on January 14th, 2010

@Brad, I fall into the early-adopter category on most things. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. I have never been able to figure out to get into only those that win :(



Steven Diamond  on January 14th, 2010

That makes three of us. :) I am the same.

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