Look Out For The 15-Percenters

How do you know if you’re writing a hit song?

Music executives have long known that when focus groups rate a song if 30-40% of people love the song and 15% of them violently hate it, you’ve most likely got a hit song on your hands.

And to make sure we’re clear, it’s not a hit song in spite of the 15%. No no. It’s because of the 15% that are completely repulsed by the song that you know you’ve got a winner. 

The worst thing you could do is try and change the song to make the 15% happy. Instead, try and find out exactly what makes that 15% so angry, and then turn that thing up a notch.

Because anything that has the power to move the needle on the “who cares” meter won’t move everyone in the same direction.

What about you? Have you cultivated a healthy population of haters?

Because if you’re trying to make a difference. If you’re trying to make people care. If you want them to sit up and take notice, then be on the lookout for your 15-percenters. And rejoice when they’ve found you.

It means you’re doing something right.

– Zac Smith, VC