Rich is my word for someone who can afford to make choices, who has enough resources to do more than merely survive. You don’t need a private plane to be rich, but you do need enough time and food and health and access to be able to interact with the market for stuff and for ideas.
The sidewalk is so crowded you have to stand in the street if you want to stand still
Standing out takes time, money, and confidence.
In addition to being able to make what the market desires, this new breed of marketers is also far better at figuring out what the market desires. And as they identify and connect with these non-mass pockets of interest, they’re encouraging further weirdness from whatever niche they are in.
THe cycle continues, with the nascent spark of weirdness being noticed and then fanned by the marketers, who in turn hand it back to the market, who get weirder still, further pushing the marketers along the path.
Why did Napster captivate so may of us? Not because it could get us the top-40 tracks that we could hear just by snapping on the radio: it was because 80 percent of the music ever recorded wasn’t available for sale anywhere in the world, and in that 80 percent were all the songs that had ever touched us all the earworms that had been lodged in our hindbrains, all the stuff that made us smile when we heard it.
—Cory Doctorow explaining popularity of file-shared music
Average is for marketers who don’t have enough information to be accurate.
What has the highest correlation with happiness? Is it wealth? Your astrological sign? How attractive you are?
In fact, Ronald Inglehart and other researchers report that the ability to be weird, the freedom to make choices, and the ability to be heard are the factors most highly correlated with happiness around the world. Regardless of income or race or geography, when we let people choose among things that are important to them, they become happier.