how reddit encourages mediocrity.

ah but i do like reddit otherwise

i remember reading a statistic like this once:

"in 1926, charlie chaplin was voted the best actor in hollywood. he was also voted the worst actor in hollywood."

I don't know what year it was. i don't know what the competition was. Point is that he was both first and last.

The same thing happens all over the place. I've seen people listed as both the "best" and "worst" dressed in the same dumb competition.

This pattern is known as "You either love it or you hate it!" and a lot of the good stuff fits this pattern.


At the website Reddit, you can give a positive vote, or a negative vote. Negative votes cancel out positive votes.

If the reddit system was used everywhere, charlie chaplin would've been a nobody. each of his 'worst actor' votes would've cancelled out one of the best actor votes.

Due to the flawed voting system at reddit, the highest rated articles are not the most popular, but something more obscure and bland. They're the ones which have the highest ratio of love to hate. Reddit promotes the kind of articles that you either love, or don't care about.

Take Paul Graham for example. He's a middle of the road easy listenin kind of guy. Either you love him or, shrug, who cares? And he's very popular at reddit.

Enough of this. Here's a quote that says it so much better than I could:

from: Death by Risk Aversion at Creating Passionate Users.

The only ironic thing, and which threatens to derail my whole idea, is that the article 'Death by Risk Aversion', is one I stumbled across on Reddit.


My book "Choose Your First Product" is available now.

It gives you 4 easy steps to find and validate a humble product idea.

Learn more.

(By the way, I read every comment and often respond.)

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