Have you ever noticed that, on almost all of the popular websites, the link colour is blue?
Have you ever built a web page from scratch? If not, you may not know that blue is the default colour these links appear in. You may also not know that blue links convert better, cause people to click more, than any other colour in A/B tests. Why is that?
This is an example of what some would call a self-reinforcing position. Because blue links convert better, people make them blue, which makes blue links get seen faster, and so on. It’s like the snake that eats its own tail.
Most people don’t understand how strong these positions are, especially if they’re advantageous to you. Strongest of all forces is that of compound interest, in which a start position strengthens itself and increases its lead as time goes on. But most people are still working their tails off rather than letting the lead they’ve built work for them.
One of the most powerful reasons to build something that lasts is because it can continue to reinforce your future projects for as long as the platform is in existence. You watch this happen over and over again– famous VCs get more traffic to their new projects than non-famous ones, bloggers getting book deals, whatever. But this isn’t a surprise.
What is a surprise is that people still refer to our culture as a meritocracy. We look at life as being about those who work hardest. But often, it’s those who know how to push the rock in the right direction… letting gravity do the work for them.
Which kind are you?