Island or Peninsula?

I wrote an entry a couple of weeks ago about how industry events are a thing of the past (see article here). And then today I am reading Guy Kawasaki’s blog and he references an article and study that basically says the same thing!

The basic premise of all of this: big industry events that put you in touch with industry insiders don’t have the effects you would expect.

The article itself covers the role of Influencers, those that get others to use and try a product. Think Right Guard and beer commercials with pro sports figures. The question is, does the tipping point (an influential and horrible book by Malcolm Gladwell) with influencers really occur or is a myth that doesn’t really play out?

The research done by Duncan Watts, formerly of Columbia University now at Yahoo! Research, shows that if a trend is going to occur, it is going to occur, no matter who is involved. Guy Kawasaki then underlines my comments about CES, the big tech trade show, by saying:

“Spend less time and effort on industry events and other focused PR and marketing that involves sucking up to journalists, analysts, and experts. Spend more time and effort pressing the flesh of real customers. Typically, you won’t meet too many customers at a Ritz Carlton.”

Well… that pretty much sums it up.

Sometimes I write these blog entries and it seems like I am living on some deserted island somewhere. And then I read something that someone said later that matches up and I say to myself, “Hmm.. it’s not an island! It’s a peninsula!”