How to Start a Movement OR The difusion of innovation?

April 3, 2010

Derek Sivers has an incredibly interesting TED talk on How to Start a Movement.

It is amazing to me how important the “first follower” is, as the first follower is the leader for the rest and turns the “lone nut” into a “leader”. To a large extent the “first follower to the first follower” is important as well (and so on).

This is one of the best diffusion of innovation examples that I have seen in under 3 minutes! The video applies to anyone that is trying to build a new market with a really innovative new product or anyone that is trying to develop a community of one kind or another. The key is that you need to find your first follower and then that person can help you attract the next follower (and so on). Take a look at the video and listen to Derek’s Insights…

…I wonder how many “leaders” have been deemed “lone nuts” because they have not attracted their “first followers”. There must be a lot of great ideas out there for first followers to find and to turn “lone nuts” into leaders! Perhaps this is at least partially the role of seed stage venture capitalists?

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As the founder of OpenView, Scott focuses on distinctive business models and products that uniquely address a meaningful market pain point. This includes a broad interest in application and infrastructure companies, and businesses that are addressing the next generation of technology, including SaaS, cloud computing, mobile platforms, storage, networking, IT tools, and development tools.