Be wary of the the laggards

26 July 2021

If you start a cause that gets to a sufficiently large scale, be wary. Be wary because every new person that now joins your cause didn't have the insight to initially believe in it nor seek it out.

You see this viscerally with online communities. It’s so hard to stop communities from turning into cesspools once they’ve reached a sufficient scale. The initial majority are passionate about maintaining the integrity of the community, the same is often not true for the laggards who join merely because everyone else has.

I’d be suspicious of this happening with anything involving large networks of people. The laggards who join a social cause for example won’t necessarily be joining because they believe what you believe. They'll be joining in part because it would have now become socially dangerous not to.

Incidentally every CEO knows about this phenomenon even if only subconsciously. They know that as their company scales it gets harder and harder to find people who align with their vision as closely as their early employees. They also know the consequences of employing too many of people who don’t align with their vision.