That Hit Song You Love Was a Total Fluke

Think about it like this: independent decisions give you more information than interdependent decisions. You can look at the success of Gangnam Style, and it seems like people are making a decision to watch the video. But those decisions aren’t independent – they’re interdependent. People are watching because other people are watching, not because it’s necessarily a great song (although it may be).

Within an organization, that means that individuals should be assessing the quality of an idea or product independently -– at least initially. After that, a team can come to a consensus. If you all sit in a room together initially, though, you’re going to lose information because of the effects of social influence.

Ignore the wisdom of crowds and develop your own opinion first.


Late Discoveries


“Once you make the New York Times the whole world news about it.”

As much information there is on the Internet, we can’t know everything.

The world is full of interesting places, people, and things that go undiscovered until a big publication like the NYTimes exposes them.

Most people wait to be told about new stuff only to complain when they experience it. It’s “too busy, overcrowded,” they say.

The masses follow the masses out of mimetic desire. If you want to make the first discovery, you have to be proactive about searching.

We can’t know everything. But we don’t need to lean on mass curation either.