Word-of-mouth is not new—it’s just different now. I call the different part, “word-of-mouse” and “ideas that spread.”
There were always manifestos —gossip or ideas or politics that spread like wildfire on a very windy day, in a very, very positive way, from person to person. Without running an ad or buying a billboard. Past history shows us that Galileo managed to upset all of Pisa with his thoughts and ideas.
However today, ideas that spread are more vital and more powerful than ever. Ideas that spread are far easier to launch, far more effective and far more sociable. Ideas that spread are critical because they’re fast, and speed wins and speed kills—brands and products just don’t have the time to develop the historic way.
Ideas that spread and word of mouse give us increasing returns—word of mouth dies out, but these get bigger. And finally, ideas that spread are the currency of the future. While ideas that spread aren’t new, they’re important because we’re obsessed with the new, and an idea that spread is always about the new.