Last year, Seth Godin was interviewed on Guy Kawasaki’s podcast and spent a while talking about the difference between something being “popular” and being “good”. Seth simply said:
The problem is this: somewhere along the way, someone said “popular” and “good” are related. They’re not!
If you take a moment to look around, you’ll see this manifest in many different areas.
- You have stories like “Fifty Shades of Grey” that are very popular, but generally seen as not being very good.
- Or you could look at the Avada theme for WordPress; it’s by far the best-selling theme of all time, but it’s not particularly good.
It’s easy to find popular things that we don’t think are very good, but the magic is in the opposite idea.
Good and unpopular
Looking at the other way, we likely have things in our life that we consider to be very good, but aren’t very popular. For me, that brings to mind tools such as Roam Research, and entertainment offerings like Google Stadia. Neither has proven to be popular by most standards, but I find both to be incredibly good.
Or we could look at a tool such as Anki, which I’ve used daily for years (and I think most people should as well), but it’s not very “popular” by any definition.
I’m curious to hear about something you’ve discovered that is very good but not (yet?) popular. Share in the comments here, or wherever you found this post.