In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes – Andy Warhol, 1968

Andy Warhol was partly right and partly wrong.

Today it is possible for anyone (or any brand) to be famous, but almost impossible to be world famous.

When Andy Warhol made that quote, media was very much in the one-way broadcast Industrial Age. When a celebrity did or said something outrageous, this was repeated to every news source and received by the helpless masses who saw the same news stories regardless of which channel they were on.

Today in the Connection Economy, fame is different.

Rather than attempt to reach the helpless masses worldwide (impossible in today’s fragmented, two way, permission marketed online economy), we can daily/weekly/monthly reach and inspire at least 15 people who deeply care about the same things we do.

Over time those 15 may even each tell one more person, who then go and tell one more person.

Soon enough, you’re famous to your fanbase.

We are in the future now, but 15 minutes of fame to the world is useless.

Aim to be the world for 15 people instead.

ps. Only after writing this post, did I realise that internet celebrity(!) Clay Shirky has already made this quote famous. HT to Clay.

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