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The Steep Curve of Social Media

I’ve had the YouTube video, below, bookmarked for awhile with the intent of a post. The engaging graphics, coupled with the mind-numbing statistics regarding the worldwide adoption of social media, spoke to me.

The frames that cited social media adoption got me thinking back to grad school days. I had the honor of studying marketing science under Dr. Frank Bass. Dr. Bass created a marketing model using differential equations to predict product adoption; that theory, published in 1969, became the eponymous Bass Model –

“The Bass Model assumes that sales of a new product are primarily driven by word-of-mouth from satisfied customers. At the launch of a new product, mostly innovators purchase it. Early owners who like the new product influence others to adopt it. Those who purchase primarily because of the influence of owners are called imitators.”

In 2004, Dr. Bass’ paper on the Bass Model was selected as one of the 10 most frequently cited papers in the 50-year history of Management Science. During class, many, many years after first publishing his paper, Dr. Bass told us that he first started to formulate the model while contemplating the adoption of advanced farming techniques through rural America. The first practical application of the Bass Model was to predict the adoption of color televisions!

Dr. Bass died in 2006; I can only imagine how he would have loved that Wikipedia states, “The rapid, recent growth in online social networks has led to an increased use of the Bass diffusion model.”

Watch and enjoy!

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