critical vs. credible

In marketing, we often hear that the key to success is acquiring a critical mass. It's a mythical creature, frankly. Critical mass breaks down like this: your cause acquires followers and then one day - out of the blue - one follower just sets you over the invisible mark and your cause becomes something greater. It becomes a movement.

Said acquisition is a critical mass.

A few months back, at South By South West, I had the opportunity to hear Scott Belsky - of Behance and 99U fame. Scott briefly touched on the difference between critical and credible mass.

I must admit up until that point, I had not thought there was a difference. Yet since that encounter, perhaps particularly because of my work in developing the SF72 platform, I've thought a lot about the difference between critical and credible.

If critical is about sheer numbers to tip the scale towards movement than credible is about the depth of the follower to tip the scale. Not all followers, supporters and friends are created equal. Ask any politician and they will tell you there are certain types of people you need to make a campaign successful - the people who will evangelize on your behalf are worth more than the typical follower.

Quality is worth more than quantity - always has been, likely always will be.