What happens when the rebel becomes market leader? Author Seth Godin‘s reaction to the success of the iPod is that he has become a “closet iPod user”. He doesn’t use the white earbuds because he doesn’t want to be recognized as an iPod owner.
“Apple is at a critical fork in the road when it comes to the iPod,” said ad man Drew Neisser. “You can already begin to see the initial iPod pioneers, who embraced the value of individuality, shunning the storm of homogeneity that’s growing with each new purchase.”
Godin tells a story about a friend who got a pair of black earbuds.
“He gets on the subway, being very independent and a maverick, which is what New Yorkers like to do, and he sees another guy across the car wearing black headphones. And this guy pulls out an iPod to adjust the volume. My friend catches himself giving this guy the look, the I’ve-got-an-iPod-too wink. It proves people like it when they find other people like them. People who don’t like being part of the main tribe still like being part of a smaller tribe.”
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