Does Talent Equal Popularity?

As the video above illustrates, true talent has little to do with what elevates people like Diddy, Britney Spears, Donald Trump and others like them to superstar status. Considering their more talented counterparts like Dr. Dre, Christina Aguilerra, Bruce Ratner and others occupy the lesser degrees of the same limelight, the obvious parallels to other brands who compete with substance vs. sizzle is definitely something to consider.

So why do we as a group choose the less talented and the less substantive? Is it because as Machiavelli had said that we judge by the results and not the process? Is it because the less talented remind us more of ourselves and thus more accepted? Or is it purely biological as our reptilian brains unconsciously gravitate towards the better looking (both physically and financially) to ensure our survival and the talent or substance just doesn’t feature in the process?

The truth is generally a combination of all factors relevant, but more importantly I believe the cause is less important than the outcome. Regardless of the reason, people gravitate towards perceptions. Positive "perceptions" of truth, wealth, beauty, philanthropy and authenticity always win over the real deal. If you've ever visited Paris in Las Vegas with the annoying faux French accents adorned by the staff and marveled at their profitability, you've seen it 1st hand.

Contrary to popular belief, the availability of information in our connection economy does little to change perceptions, rather the info only validates existing world views. Perceptions are still shaped by disinformation and cultural biases. I believe understanding the root of both the disinformation and the culture codes are more essential than ever. Because as Gottfried Helnwin had once said:

“Of course the game is rigged. But if you don’t play, you can’t win!”

1 Responses to “Does Talent Equal Popularity?”

  1. # Blogger xooki

    To make a simple answer, no. Talent does not equal popularity. While I can relate the the figures you used in your example, I think I have another one. My musical style of choice is Metal. Etremely Heavy rock, and this style of music has the most talented musicians of them all. Yngwie Malmsteen, amazing guitar player. Hellhammer, amazing drummer. Uh, forgot his name, Dream Theater's bassist, great! But compared to all of the people you mentioned, they've never been heard of.
    Then again, our concept of talent differs. You may think my music is just noise, and I may think yours is all computerized and has no real talent used at all, so what does that mean?
    We're all creatures of perception.  

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