We all watch different TV shows and read different books and listen to different music. So nothing catches fire and blows up, because no one’s got the time for what they’re already interested in.
So marketers furiously look for publicity in newspapers, blogs, believing it will start a fire. But it won’t unless it’s truly eye or ear-popping. It has to be equivalent to the Beatles, or at least Adele, to get traction.
Otherwise, you’ve got to convert people one by one. Which sellers hate. Because it’s slow and difficult and you win or lose on your merits. It’s hard to fake people out, and they’re certainly not going to tell anybody else.
So, it’s about train-wreck or quality. And even then, word is gonna spread slowly. Just look at all the clickbait on legitimate websites. You know the drill, lurid headline and when you click through you’re inundated with ads, so you don’t.
Marketers have brought this upon themselves. We’re overloaded, we’re not paying attention. We have to hear it from a trusted source before we’ll click.

Source: Lefsetz Letter » Blog Archive » Virality Is History