“Conventional wisdom demands that you do the unconventional!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
It’s often best to avoid the wisdom of crowds – nothing great was ever achieved through conformity!
That’s because the bandwagon effect and FOMO – “Fear of Missing Out” – often drive the action of crowds. They are too scared of missing out and so they pile onto the bandwagon – and when everyone is doing the same thing, it usually means it’s either too late to get involved, or the trend at hand is simply a short fad, an opportunity of little real substance. (NFT’s, anyone?)
With that in mind, some useful guidance will provide you a foundation of sanity, a bedrock of rational thinking:
- when everyone is running one way run the other way!
- when everyone has the same idea, find a different idea
- when everyone is suggesting one direction, try the other one
- when someone tells you that you are missing out, know you made the right decision to abstain
- when something seems like a fad, it usually is
- kill the attitudes, words, ideas, and structures that kill your company – groupthink, committees, consensus, buy-in, harmony, concurrence, unanimity.
FOMO? I took a look at this last year in one of my Ask.A.Futurist shows, where I took apart the Gamestop and meme-investing trend, the early hype over NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens), and even Clubhouse — all of which I said at the time was not really trends of substance to be concerned about.
Today? Clubhouse? Do you remember when everyone was talking about that, and it was going to be the next billion-dollar company? Today? Crickets – it’s but a niche platform for a small group of people. NFT’s? Don’t get me going!
Conventional wisdom? This chart pretty much sums up that world from the perspective of herd instinct stock investing. It’s easy to apply the loop to ‘conventional wisdom.’
Your key to the future is to align to real trends – not hype, fads, or the things that drive the ‘wisdom’ of crowds.
Because the crowds are usually wrong.