As you're driving down some multi-lane freeway, have you ever noticed that as you start to pull up beside to the car rolling along in the next lane, they will start to match your pace. For many of us here in Silicon Valley, this can be a challenging concept, because the rules don't apply when your traveling at five miles an hour and stuck in gridlock. But assuming that you're rolling at the limit (or slightly above), you'll probably notice that the car next to you -- that you were gaining on -- has suddenly found a strange new excitement for life, and is matching your speed.
Welcome to the world of marketing to the masses. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, regardless of any plan or intention on your part -- when a group of people start to use your product, there is a pretty good chance that there's another group of people that are going to do exactly the same thing simply because they learned that others were doing it.
Viral Marketing Made Simple
People write books and publish sites on viral marketing. While there are probably some practical strategies that you can adopt to help you be a better virus, before you go too far down that path, you might be reflect on what you learned while you drove to work. That's right, that individual that made you so frustrated, the one who wasn't going where you were going, the one who you only know by the explatives that you shouted at them -- that guy just echoed your behavior simply because you were going the same direction, you pulled up next to him, and he became aware of you.
And for those of you out there that responded to my recent viral campaign, just a quick reminder that talking on your cell phone without using a hands-free device is illegal. Also, any gestures that you saw and that you may or may not have misintepreted, those gestures were simply exhibitions of my enthusiasm for the product.