Popularity

a16z podcast has an interesting episode today about popularity and addiction.

Here are some of my takeaways —

What’s popularity?

Popularity is not about majority, but a cult hit adored by minority. The threshold of the hit is to get commercially viable minority to adore you. Therefore, Popularity is cultish. Culture is cult, all the way down.

What are the ingredients of popularity?

The heart of popularity is familiarity and surprise. People are most drawn to new ideas that remind them of old ideas. Like mirror exposure effect, once we have it we want it again. The first exposure is a matter of distribution. We feel nicer and easier to process them.

How to use this knowledge in business?

Imitation and repetition when customers don’t know the subject very well will create liking. If we create a truly novel product, the key challenge is to make it familiar with the first user base.

Adding it to my reading list.

Hit makers: The science of popularity in an age of distraction by Derek Thompson
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