This video from Derek Sivers is very interesting, informative and entertaining, but I see something slightly different than he does.
I love how Derek uses the imagery from a 2009 festival to explain how a “lone nut” becomes the leader of a movement and how important the “first follower” becomes, and I’m not alone. This is an acclaimed analysis with 1.1 million-plus YouTube views as of this writing.
But I disagree about the “tipping point,” where he says, “Now here come 2 more, then 3 more. Now we’ve got momentum. This is the tipping point! Now we’ve got a movement! As more people jump in, it’s no longer risky. If they were on the fence before, there’s no reason not to join now. They won’t be ridiculed, they won’t stand out, and they will be part of the in-crowd, if they hurry.”
If you’ve never seen the video, go ahead, check it out. It’s fun. I’ll wait.
There’s one crucial detail I think Derek missed about the “3 more” who give the dancers the necessary momentum to turn the little party into a crowd. Did you spot it? Because the camera is shaky it’s a little hard to see.
At least one of the newcomers is a woman.
It takes 22 seconds for the first follower to arrive, and almost a full minute before a third dancer joins in. But not until the 80-second mark, when the women join in, does the movement really take off.
Until the moment that the first lady starts dancing, it’s just 3-5 guys acting goofy. When she gets there, it’s a social event. The first female follower makes it more comfortable for other women to join, and you know how men feel about women.
Derek Sivers knows a lot more about marketing and running a business than I do, but I daresay his theory here needs a small amendment. Never underestimate the power of the opposite sex. The first female follower of a movement – or the first male to join a female-initiated movement – can convert a few folks dancing alone into a campaign.