I’ve been twittering for the last few months. The more I do it, the more I understand the value but when I talk about Twitter, many people say to me ‘I don’t get it’. This is a very interesting phrase. It usually arises when some people are very excited about a new innovation but its value proposition is unclear and another group is completely bemused. This collective ‘mindset dissonance’ is a clear signal that a major hype cycle is underway.
The biggest wave of ‘I don’t get it’ was the Web. Back in the day – around 1995to 98 the emerging ‘new media’ brigade would separate the world into two groups – those who ‘got it’ (that the Internet changes everything) and those who didn’t.
When did you last hear someone use this key phrase? Perhaps it was about Twitter, or Second Life or The Cloud. Tune your spidey-sense to consciously recognise and pay attention when you hear it said. Actively note when you hear it said many times. In contrast, when an innovation is a real dog – you don’t hear it so much because the majority have already concluded it has no value. So when it comes up -its because those saying it are just a little concerned that others have cottoned on to something of value which they are missing.
Repetition of “I don’t get it” is a tell-tale sign of a big impact, disruptive innovation. One that trips people up and then explodes. Its not a perfect indicator, but a good one to add to your collection.