While early adopters (the nerds who always want to know about the cool new thing in their field) have always existed, now we have got more nerds than ever before. If you are reading this, you are a nerd. Nerds, nerds everywhere.
The Internet turned us all into nerds. Yahoo.com is not cool any more—google.com is. Suddenly we are ready, willing and able to be at the bleeding edge, all the time.
The profit from creating and owning an ideavirus is huge, huger than it ever was before. It used to be that only a few stereotypical nerds cared about the latest pocket calculator. Today, you will see people talking about their gadgets on the Gautrain.
Today if your idea is a purple cow, it is much easier to get it trending on social media. If you can look at what has been trending recently in your country, you will understand how it has become easier, quicker and cheaper to unleash your idea.
It’s not just that our society is rewarding people who are sensitive enough or smart enough or cool enough to know about the next new thing. It’s that many of us have crossed over a line and gone from being the vast majority who waited for something to become mainstream—we have become the early adopters, the folks on the bleeding edge who actually seek out innovation. We call it FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), but that’s just a modern word of saying we are nerds.
Because the population has shifted, the sweet spot has shifted. Companies no longer make most of their money harvesting money from the laggards who finally get around to buying something at the supermarket. They make their money the first day, the first week, the first month from early adopters.
If something is new and different and exciting and getting buzzed about, we want to know about it, be part of it. The fashion is now to be in fashion, and ideas are the way we keep up.