I know this blog is not a success just yet. Why? People do not hate it.
It’s true. People do not dislike it so bad that they just have to tell me about it. There is no “love” feedback either. I just don’t get those sorts of messages.
Sure, I get plenty of “You suck” emails. I also get plenty of really nice “Thanks” emails.
But I am not pressing peoples buttons. Not in a good way, not in a bad way. Not enough.
Dilbert creator Scott Adams wrote a while ago about “knowing when to quit“. His story about his failed TV show attempt really rings true. Why did it fail? Because everybody “liked” it.
The reason that a product “everyone likes” will fail is because no one “loves” it. The only thing that predicts success is passion, even if only 10% of the consumers have it. For example, I’m willing to bet that when the TV show Baywatch was tested, 90% of the people rolled their eyes and gave it a thumbs down. But I’ll bet 10% of the test audience had tents in their pants. Bingo.
That is so true. Have you noticed some of the products that go on to be massive have that “love it or hate it” thing going on? Now think about your blog, do people love it or just like it? How can you turn the passionometer up to 11? Well, that is the real trick isn’t it?
It’s critical to inspire passion, good or bad.
For a start if you inspire passion then you either learn what needs to be fixed or what is already working very well.
Think a mild dislike of DRM is going to change the way digital music is delivered? Niggles don’t motivate people to respond unless they are natural complainers.
Secondly only really passionate people become true advocates for a blog, product or service. When the original Matrix movie was released about ten people told me I had to see it before it even arrived in theaters over here. My best friend told me it was his favourite film of all time, before seeing it at the cinema, he watched it on his computer.
I love Seth Godins blog but HATE ever so much (and he knows it, or should by now I have sent him about a million trackbacks) that he does not allow comments. His blog is like a broken answering machine, yes you hear a human voice but you don’t really believe it is a real human and you know that unless you are Guy Kawasaki your messages will be ignored. Many blogs don’t allow comments but they mean much less to me. That’s passion at work.
We would all like to be loved rather than hated, of course we would. That place in the middle, though; the “like” place, the “nice” place? That road leads to mediocrity.