This is the sad curve of a pet hobby, pet blog, or a pet idea, whatever it is that exists isolated in your world. Maybe some people very close to you know that you’re doing it, they don’t really care either way, only you care about it and it makes you happy to do it every once in a while. Sometimes those people who are close to you will get interested in what you’re doing and you have an audience. But for the most part it’s an isolated wasteland that only you exist in.
On the other hand if you WANT people to see it, you want people to like your work and see its value and even want to do it themselves or use your work somehow. If you want an audience, then this graph is a horrible shame on your soul that kills your every desire to continue doing this because of what a horrible failure you are since people didn’t instantly recognize your greatness.
If you have ever gotten excited about an idea that you know will make you lots of money or bring you lots of fame, I’m sure your heart’s desire and deepest wishes (no matter how much you tell yourself you’re a realist) is for it to look like this particular curve.
But NOTHING grows like that and stays growing like that. The things that do always come to a crash because whatever is sustaining that growth will run out of energy.
In fact, if you ever see something like this, then be scared. Scared because this is either someone cheating, or a short lived anomaly.
Large sources of energy or traffic might include things like Facebook, television, news papers, clubs, parties, anything where a large amount of people have their attention focused on one thing for significant amount of time. Obviously the larger the audience and the longer the time, the more energy there is. And vice versa.
It looks much like a roller coaster ride, and it is, but the opposite. Usually on a roller coaster ride your fear and trepidation increase as you climb to the top, and then as you’re going down your fear hits a crescendo and becomes just background noise and you begin to feel the excitement and thrill of the ride and want it to continue.
But in business, this is like a roller coaster ride in a fog where you can only see a foot in front of you. And as you’re climbing, you feel a rush of enjoyment and a feeling of success!
And then the peak surprises you and you come crashing down in fear and despair, not knowing when and how hard you’re going to hit the ground.
And this is why most people stay out of business. Or why most people are too scared to turn their hobby or pet project and make it into something greater. Even though they all (come on, be truthful) would wish they were rich and famous from their little stamp collection or blog.
So if that’s the typical case, how is it that anything ever stays in business? Most don’t. When you have a lot of people looking at one thing, and your project interrupts their attention (Facebook post, tv commercial, newspaper ad), some people who find it interesting will veer off and focus a little bit of their attention on your project. These are the possible outcomes:
- They love it so much that they’ll interrupt other people and show them your thing
- They find it useful but not so great as to tell someone and face the fear of that person saying “yah? so what? stop wasting my time.”
- They don’t find it very useful at all.
- They hate it so much, it bothers some deep parts of their soul and so they NEED to tell someone how much they hate it and why. Most likely they’ll want to find you and tell you why you shouldn’t exist.
If you somehow end up being a part of the first category. Congratulations, your tail end, or the failure end of the typical graph, won’t hit zero. You’ve made some true fans. And if you can somehow sustain yourself on those true fans, and keep those true fans engaged and interested, then you have yourself a business.
Any of the other results end up in failure. It’s just a matter of how short your fall is and how hard you hit the ground.
The intelligent person with the useful product will realize that all they have to do is repeat the process and find other ways to insert themselves into large amounts of energy and make some more fans. Then they are on the path to success!
And that is what a successful business will look like. I mean.. not really. Usually the second hump and each successive humps will be smaller and smaller than that first initial hump. Why? Because the law of diminishing returns says that the second cup of lemonade on a hot day will make you feel less refreshed and satisfied than that first cup.
But remember, this will usually work for things that a certain percentage of humanity will find to be AMAZING!! It’s the people who love your product that support you up (keep your tail end from hitting zero) so that you can also distribute your products to the larger crowd of people who just like it, these are your money makers.
Otherwise, it will look like this.
All effort will just diffuse away and the roller-coaster will continue to slide down to your doom.