Marriage Doesn’t Work

So I got on my BlackBerry yesterday and checked my MySpace account, and… wait. Sorry, I forgot this is 2014.

BlackBerry and MySpace are still around, but they’re now mere footnotes1 in the brief history of tech fads.

There is no way of telling how long a certain web site or app will be around, no matter how popular it is.

BlackBerry absolutely dominated2 the business world and the smartphone market. MySpace was once valued at $12 billion3 (yes, that’s billion, with a “b”). For one reason or another, they refused or were unable to evolve quickly enough, and failed to maintain their market dominance. This is not an uncommon story. In fact, it’s more the rule than the exception.

Every day, new companies are formed, announcements are made, trumpets sound and the early adopters dip their feet in the water to see what the new service/app/site/gadget is all about. Maybe it catches on and gains a foothold that leads to a better sense of permanence. Much more likely, it doesn’t. And while these new companies and new products are being formed, an equal amount is quietly fading into obscurity and eventual abandonment.

This is technology. It comes from a culture that not only embraces change, but manufactures it, relies on it, and spurs it onward ever faster. If you fall in love with something, that’s great — but it might not be around tomorrow.

For every Amazon and Facebook, there’s a and a MySpace.

So my advice to you is this: try new things, fall in love with them, but don’t marry them. Don’t be afraid to go all-in, but at the same time, you need to be prepared to bail out — or be forcefully ejected against your will — and move on to something else.

And who knows? Maybe the next thing you stumble across will be ever better — and stick around for the long haul.

Be sure to check out this week’s infographic, and check back next week to find out why I’m a failure.


1 Some footnotes are good, like these ones.
2 Nearly 47% of the market share. Now? About 5%. Conclusion: 5% of smartphone users are very stubborn.
3 You could probably buy MySpace for 50 cents and a candy bar now.

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