“My theory was, you know, it’s like in high school,” he says. “Does being really popular help you win friends [or] help you enhance your performance? And it turns out that, yeah, popularity does seem to help brands.”
To test this, O’Connor tracked 30 brands with the most followers on Facebook, including Abercrombie and Fitch, Adidas, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters and Best Buy, among others.
O’Connor tracked the likes of those companies on Facebook for a whole year, while at the same time tracking their daily share price. What he found astonished him.
Detour works a little like a Kickstarter for live music. Bands announce they want to tour a certain country or continent. Then fans in different cities pledge to buy tickets (with credit card preauthorisation) to see that band if they come to their city. If there is enough fan interest, the band will make sure it visits that city as part of its tour and books the right-sized venue.
[John Trinkaus] also gets annoyed in the street when he watches people driving. He got annoyed that somebody near his house – there were lots of somebodies – don’t always stop, come to a compete stop at an intersection. So he sat at the intersection for several hours. There’s a stop sign there, and he counted. Of the cars that come to this intersection, how many come to a complete stop and how many do not?
And then he went back a couple of years later and he spent the same amount of time counting how many cars this year come to a complete stop and how many do not. And then he went back two or three years later and did it again, and he kept doing this… he’d come back several years later and look again, almost every time he did that on any kind of behavior, the world got worse.