In a world inundated with content, products, and ideas, how does one discern the exceptional from the mediocre?
Enter Sturgeon's Law. This seemingly simple adage holds profound insights into the nature of quality and value, stating:
"Ninety percent of everything is crap."
But before this leaves you feeling pessimistic, let's delve deeper into this principle and discover its liberating clarity in a world of overwhelming choices.
The origins of Sturgeon's Law trace back to science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon. Faced with criticism that most science fiction was of poor quality, he astutely responded that 90% of everything, not just sci-fi, is crap. His observation was less about dismissing entire genres or mediums but emphasising that true gems are, and always have been, a minority.
In our digital age, with the constant barrage of social media posts, online articles, and endless products vying for our attention, Sturgeon's insight is more relevant than ever. The overwhelming majority might indeed be mediocre, but that elusive 10%? It's worth our time, energy, and appreciation.
Consider your favorite streaming platform like Netflix. Thousands of shows and movies are at your fingertips, but how many truly captivate? How often anre you scrolling for something to watch rather than watching.
All the movies released nowadays are garbage. They have the same plots, same characters and everything is so predictable - it’s hard to be believe people get paid to regurgitate the same thing over and over again.
Or think about the countless startups emerging daily; only a handful might revolutionize industries. This isn't cynicism but rather an empowering realisation: in recognising that most will be 'crap,' we can fine-tune our radar for the truly remarkable.
Challenge vs. Opportunity
For brands and creators, Sturgeon's Law offers both a challenge and an opportunity.
Strive to be in that top 10%, where quality reigns supreme.
In a saturated market, excellence stands out and is remembered. Being in that 10% can spell the difference between obscurity and lasting impact.
But what about us, the consumers and appreciators? Sturgeon's Law serves as a reminder. It tells us to be patient, to sift through the noise, and to value the exceptional when we find it.
It asks us to celebrate quality over quantity, recognizing that true brilliance is a rare commodity. Be aware that most of what you see is marketing and take a step back before you invest time in something that’s actually…crap.