Fast in, fast out
Mark points us to this study of fads and trends.
It turns out that a fast-growing trend is also likely to become a fast-fading trend. My analysis: the people who jump on a fast-moving trend are fickle early adopters. This group is most likely to race on to the next thing, and is also least likely to want to sign up for something that feels tired.
Another way to look at it: if you want to stick around for a while, you need to make the difficult sales to the middle of the market or have a ready supply of new stuff ready to entertain the never-satisfied early adopters.
That sounds pretty obvious as I write it, but I wonder why marketers everywhere ignore it? We say we're eager to build a brand for the ages, but we spend all our time and money launching it to the early adopters instead of patiently earning the trust of the middle.