Don't consider yourself deviant? Well, that just may be a career breaker. Deviance is nothing more than a marked separation from the norm. It is the kind of breakthrough thinking that creates new markets and tumbles traditional ones.
The Deviant's Advantage describes how deviance proceeds along a traceable trajectory from the Fringe, where it originates but has zero commercial potential; to the Edge, where word of mouth creates a limited audience; to the Realm of the Cool, where the buzz and market momentum really start to build; to the Next Big Thing, where demand is honed and intensifies; finally landing at Social Convention, the heart of the mass market.
Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker, two of America's most respected futurists, trace the Path of the Devox (the voice, spirit, or incarnation of deviant ideas, products, and individuals), using it as a way to explain how and why:
- Christian fundamentalism morphed from college Bible studies to Republican party king-making
- Napster exploded from an idea germinating inside a 16-year-old to a movement with 60 million subscribers that very nearly destroyed the music industry
- Hugh Hefner went from America's most public pornographer to a cultural icon with decidedly Puritan sensibilities
Mathews and Wacker also look at what happens to formerly deviant products and ideas after they are replaced by the next wave from the Fringe - how they morph into Cliche (where their commercial potential may actually increase), become Icons or even Archetypes, or fade into Oblivion, and how you can profitably manage even a fading concept.
Looking for the next big idea for your business? Quit staring at the Social Convention for inspiration and start scouring the Fringes of society. Tomorrow's breakthrough concept is lurking in the mind of a deviant individual. Your choice is simple: find it and exploit it, or be buried by those who do.
The Deviant's Advantage ... Download and start listening now!