Both The Shawshank Redemption and The Big Lebowski bombed. If “bombed” means that during the first few weeks, no one went to a theater to see them. Since then, tens of millions of people have seen and talked about these movies.
Tommy James’ first record also failed, because no one played it on the radio for months. And then, one party promoter in Pennsylvania started playing it a lot, and it became a hit. He went on to make seven top 10 hits.
We are primed to pay attention to things that happen in a thunderclap.
But the events that change our culture often happen over time, distributed across parts of the population too small to notice.
The Grateful Dead were the #1 live touring band more years than any other… and yet they only had one top 40 hit. Connection was worth more than wide and shallow sync.
The first challenge is finding the focus and patience to work on the asynchronized adoption of important ideas. And the second is to not sacrifice the larger goal in a frenzied hustle for the big break.
Drip by drip makes a wave.