In the last lesson, we established the main idea of We are All Weird. Personalization, specialization, customization, or weirdifcation means that the mass market is no longer the majority.
If that is the case, we need to adjust to the new reality. Sometimes it is difficult to adjust, but we have been constantly adjusting and readjusting over time. There was a time where we mourned the:
- loss of the tranquility of the family farm
- peace that we enjoyed before radio
- family connections we maintained before the automobile
- literature that we shared before television
- human connections before the computer
- pace of life before the internet connected the world
But time marches on and nearly all changes are double-edged swords.
For some, the death of the mass market is something to celebrate. It gives the little guy an advantage over the giants. It levels the playing field. It provides a unique opportunity to become successful.
For others (especially those who work for the large behemoths), it means that they will have to change. They must learn to speak to new audiences with pincasts rather than rely on broadcasts. It means that creating connection is more important than being the loudest. It means that one guy on Facebook can cost you millions when he complains about your mistreatment.
United Breaks Guitars
In Team of Teams, Stanley McCrystal related the story of Dave Carroll, a little known Canadian folk musician, whose guitar was broken by United Airlines in 2008. Dave spent 9 months trying to get united to compensate him for the guitar. Finally, out of frustration, Dave wrote a song and posted it on YouTube: United Breaks Guitars.
- The song had one million hits in three days
- United Airlines stock fell 10% costing shareholders $180 Million in shareholder value.
- That is 600,000 times the value of the guitar
To date, the video has more than 18 million views. In days gone by, the large company would have ignored this kind of complaint, but the internet changed things.
For our purposes, whether the death of the mass market is good or bad is irrelevant. What is relevant is that we understand the reality of the conditions in which we live. The real question is what you will do with what you know.
What About You?
What does the death of mass markets and the personalization, specialization, customization, the weirdifcation of markets mean for you?