What defines cool? - Cool isn't just what's popular. It's what's not popular â€“ yet. Specifically, Cool Hunters and industry professionals typically refer to cool as the next big thing. Once something becomes mainstream, it's novelty and appeal is lost. The true luster of a cool derives from uniquety, not ubiquity. Guess which word we just made up. That's part of the fun. The underlying concept is that cool represents that which the mainstream seeks to have. Unfortunately, that means most of the cool concepts you discover, were only cool 5 minutes ago. Cheers to that.
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The Irony of Discovering Something Cool - From Malcolm Gladwell (Author of "The Tipping Point")
"The irony of cool hunting is that the kind of person who starts trends, and also the kind of person who spreads them . . . the reason they play this game is they're interested in occupying a unique position in the culture. The person who starts trends would like to be different. The person who spreads them would like to be the one who connects this weird undercurrent world with all of their friends in the mainstream. So they see a social role for themselves, only insofar as those ideas are out there to be discovered. As soon as the idea is blown wide open and revealed to everyone else, then both of those people lose their social position, and so they're driven to the next thing.
So the faster you pick up on these trends and blow them out and show them to everybody and reveal them to corporate America, the more you force the kind of person who starts them and spreads them to move on and find the next. There's no kind of solution to this. You can't ever solve the puzzle permanently. By discovering cool, you force cool to move on to the next thing. It's "chase in flight." That's a phrase that comes from illusionary biology. It's kind of a treadmill--not an unpleasant treadmill. But nonetheless, it's the wonderful way the cool hunters stay in business, because by being in business they make their own role even more necessary. . ." - PBS Interview