The Futility of Predicting Inflection Points

Great art is sometimes dismissed by early critics and doesn't resonate with a large audience. Instead, it follows a long tail, spreads by word of mouth from one person to the next.

Best-sellers make headlines, get displayed at the front of bookstores, and show up everywhere on social media. Perennial sellers slowly infuse the consciousness of the culture, until the artist nobody has ever heard of before becomes an overnight success. It might be

  • An author's 4th book
  • An actor's 10th movie
  • A podcaster's 50th episode
  • A Musician's 50th live performance.

AR Rahman wrote jingles before he became the most sought-after music director in India, and sold more than Britney Spears and Madonna combined. 

But many artists see a lack of early success as a reason to quit. It's impossible to predict an infection point in an artist's career. The best thing you can do is get back to work and make more art.

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