Farhad Manjoo is worried that the tech industry has gone Hollywood. Everyone is looking for the next Facebook or iPod, but they seem less willing to wait for the next-big-thing to develop before they lavish hype on it. Writing at Fast Company , Manjoo cautions us against putting stock in a model that doesn't give products time to develop before grading them as successes or failures: As digital culture has become mainstream culture--pushed along by, yes, Apple and its now masterfully calibrated launch events--the iPod's slow start would make it a dud today, the TouchPad of music players (remember HP's ill-fated tablet? Me neither). Tech has now become about hits, not unlike Hollywood movies. And the numbers for what defines a smash are only growing: In 2010, Microsoft's Kinect motion-gaming add-on sold 8 million units in 60 days , earning it a Guinness world record. A year later, Apple sold 33 million iPhone 4S's in its first 78 days. The Instagram photo-sharing app attracted 7 million users in its first nine months; this spring, the Draw Something app wooed 35 million people in its first six weeks, prompting Zynga to buy it for a reported $180 million. On the flip side, slow starters are being kicked to the curb. The recommendation app Oink, backed by a Silicon Valley Who's Who, didn't pop and shut down after a few months, the John Carter of the App Store. These megahits present a danger for the tech business. The iPod's early years suggest that the industry will lose something in the rush to kill off products that don't catch fire immediately. "There's a subsection of people in the Valley who think the only way to be successful is to create a viral overnight hit," says Dave Morin, CEO of the social-networking app Path, which attracted nearly a million registered users in its first year. That's a more modest start than, say, Pinterest, but Morin points out that Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, and Twitter all took years to gain millions of users. He's right: New technology isn't like a movie, a finished product that you either like or you don't. High-quality tech products take time--after they're released. It's relatively easy to get a lot of people to check out your new thing: see MySpace, Chatroulette, or any number of Zynga games. But it takes more determined work, more trial and error, to keep them using your product. Look at all of Facebook's redesigns, missteps, and reorganizations on the path to winning big. Read Why Tech's Hunger For Overnight Hits Is Bad For Business here .
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