The world is not as small as we'd like to think it is.
I have been amazed lately at the number of "trend-aware" people who have no knowledge of the ideas discussed in books such as Purple Cow, Visionary's Handbook, Never Eat Alone and others. I've recently re-read Free Prize Inside and have been using it as a source for some conversations with fellow members of an advisory board on which I serve.
The blank stares I get are a disheartening indication that my colleagues and I can't share the same language when talking about solutions, and I am forced to try and explain principals rather than attack the problems.
Questions and Observations:
- Could it be that some people are somehow inoculated against the IdeaVirus? How can these people, who are well-read and intelligent, not have ANY knowledge of the books I mention above? It's not that they haven't had time to read them, most HAVE NOT HEARD of them.
- I suspect the velocity at which an IdeaVirus travels will diminish over time and eventually grind to a halt. If so, how does the word spread about older ideas that still have value?
- It must be difficult to re-start the spread of a virus that's been halted, because the original sneezers have moved on to something else and probably no longer find the initial idea worthy of passing along.
Oh, the photo above is that of the Norwalk Virus, which is said to be responsible for some nasty adult stomach problems. I tried to find a photo of the actual IdeaVirus, but Seth Godin has it locked up in a tube of hair cream.