The Mediocre Middle

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From Seth Godin's blog:

Most industries innovate from both ends:

  • The outsiders go first because they have nothing to lose.
  • The winners go next because they can afford to and they want to stay winners.
  • It's the mediocre middle that sits and waits and watches.

The mediocre (blank) companies, mediocre (blank) guys and the mediocre (blank) are struggling to stay in place. They're nervous that it all might fall apart. So they wait. They wait for 'proof' that this new idea is going to work, or at least won't prove fatal. (It's the impulse to wait that made them mediocre in the first place, of course).

So, in every industry, the middle waits. And watches. And then, once they realize they can survive the switch (or once they're persuaded that their current model is truly fading away), they jump in.

The irony, of course, is that by jumping in last, they're condemning themselves to more mediocrity.

Read the entire post here. (The post is about the music industry. I took the liberty of adding the (blank) elements to make Seth's argument more... universal.)

Along the same lines, Brains On Fire's Spike brings us this observation from CP+B’s Hoolpla:

“It astounds me how people are afraid of so many things, but mediocrity never seems to be one of them.”



Mediocrity - noun
Ordinariness as a consequence of being average and not outstanding [syn: averageness]

There's a pretty good conversation on the topic over there. Check it out and feel free to join in.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone.

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