Bridging The Gap: What Startups Can Learn From American Idol

Ideas August 27, 2013 5:16 pm

I’ve never been to Austin,TX, much less SXSW. For the past three years I’ve tried to soak up the event as much as possible- following along closely on Twitter (which landed me an interview at Google), reading any and all blogs covering the five day span of Interactive, and living vicariously through friends and coworkers.

But instead of sitting another year out, I figured the fastest way to Austin and SXSW was to submit a speaking proposal… so here goes: Bridging The Gap: What Startups Can Learn From American Idol.

In my day to day job, I’m a trend researcher, analyzing the innovations that are disrupting industries and promising to bring massive change to how businesses operate. And in that work, I research countless startups. Most of the startups are new and noteworthy, haven gotten some early positive press, but haven’t yet reached mainstream adoption. And while some may succeed, many, if not most, will get ‘stuck’ with tech-savvy early adopters. Because┬áthere can’t be massive change without massive adoption.

And who drives mass adoption in the US?

Middle America.

And TV show held the top spot in the US for more than a decade?

American Idol.

Infinitely more people know about Simon Cowell, Carrie Underwood, and Ryan Seacrest than know about the latest, greatest ‘hot’ startup. How can startups cross-over to this level of popularity and mass adoption? Hopefully, with your help, I’ll be able to answer these questions at SXSW! For a sneak peak at my talk, and to VOTE for me, visit the SXSW Panel Picker here.

*Special thanks to the uber-talented Lauren Manning for the amazing graphic!

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