Why are we all selling selfie sticks?

There’s a concept from economics called the Blue Ocean Strategy(affiliate link). The basic idea is really simple: don’t do what others are doing, and you’ll have less competition.

One famous example of this is people selling selfie sticks.

Clustered around any tourist site you will find roving hordes of mostly young men selling selfie sticks (or whatever is the local equivalent).

Some sales are made, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. But the fact that they all sell the exact same thing makes it less likely that each individual will be the person to make the sale.

Selling anything else would increase their chances. Why don’t they?

It’s easy to look at what others are doing and copy that, hoping for the same result. This even has a name: commoditisation. It’s a bad strategy. A red ocean. Yet we keep doing it.

Copycats has been the number one gripe in the indie hacker community over the last few years. Someone shares a win, and ten others copy their idea. Bad strategy.

Every social media is swamped by trends, people making the exact same content, hoping to be the one to get the engagement. Bad strategy.

I made the same mistake. I’ve been posting the same bland content here as everyone else. Well no more. It’s time to not follow the herd, and hopefully do more interesting things.