Check out the graph on the left. The curves represent different ideas and different starting points. If you start with 10,000 fans and have an idea that on average nets .8 new people per generation, that means that 10,000 people will pass it on to 8000 people, and then 6400 people, etc. That’s yellow on the graph. Pretty soon, it dies out.
On the other hand, if you start with 100 people (99% less!) and the idea is twice as good (1.5 net passalong) it doesn’t take long before you overtake the other plan. (the green). That’s not even including the compounding of new people getting you people.
But wait! If your idea is just a little more viral, a 1.7 passalong, wow, huge results. Infinity, here we come. That’s the purple (of course.)
Here are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year. From bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert to brilliant tech thinker Kevin Kelly, from publisher Tim O’Reilly to radio host Dave Ramsey, there are some important people riffing about important ideas here. The ebook includes Tom Peters, Fred Wilson, Jackie Huba and Jason Fried, along with Gina Trapani, Bill Taylor and Alan Webber.Here’s the deal: it’s free.
Tweet it, email it, post it on your own site. I think it might be fun to make up your own riff and post it on your blog or online profile as well. It’s a good exercise. Can we get this in the hands of 5 million people? You can find an easy to use version on Scribd as well and from wepapers. Please share.
I have been reinvigorated lately by following Hugh McLeod, the Limey-turned-Texan artist, idea vendor, marketer, and self-described CDF (CrazyDerangedFool).
In this economy and in the overwhelming crush of ideas and messaging, you have to be a little crazy, you have to be a little off-the-wall … you have to STAND OUT from the deafening crowd in order earn the attention necessary to tell your story.
That’s why this recent cartoon of his really speaks to me. George’s first plan better be to re-name himself, jump out of line, change clothes, and break out of the ordinary. But – here’s the key – George’s new George needs to not be another mask marketers wear, but a return to what makes George unique. This level of authenticity, coupled with a real eccentricity, gives George a chance.
Perhaps the crazy ideas are better just because they’re crazy. Perhaps the ordinary plans and ordinary ideas will die just because they’re ordinary. As Seth Godin said a week or so ago, the problem is that you are boring. I am boring – we’re all boring … when we’re simply repeating the party line, doing the standard thing, following the company protocol, going through the motions.
What’s going to make people sit up? Pay attention? Work with us? Hire us?
Here’s a big clue: it won’t be boring. It won’t be standard. It won’t be average. It won’t be a commodity, and it won’t be something you can buy at Wal-Mart.