The Tortoise And The Hare

One of my favorite childhood stories is Aesop’s The Tortoise And The Hare.

I just love the idea that slow and steady ultimately wins the race.

I thought about that story when I read that Pokemon Go had set a record with 75mm downloads in its first few weeks in the app stores.

Mobile games have these explosive take up rates but don’t last forever.

Contrast that with something like Minecraft which emerged slowly but seems to chug along getting more and more popular each year.

And, outside of the games sector, I can’t really think of any super popular technology product (app or device) that blasted off and sustained itself over a decade or more.

When I ran this question by my brother in law last night, he mentioned the iPhone and the iPad, but both of those were relatively slow builds, certainly compared to these mobile game launches.

We could not think of a huge product, in tech or outside of tech, that blasted off and was a sustainably popular product for a decade or more.

Can you?


Comments (Archived):

  1. Camille Tyan

    You have hits in the entertainment business that remain hugely popular with recurring sales over decades. Dark Side of the Moon is a good example.

  2. LE

    Depends on the definition of fast but Fax machines seemed to take hold pretty quickly in the 80’s. So fast that Fedex decided to shut down the fax service that they offered.

  3. Rob Underwood

    The wheel?

    1. fredwilson


    2. kenberger

      Fire. And the Universe definitely was a big bang, I hear.

      1. Girish Mehta

        13.7 Billion Years old and going strong.

      2. Rob Underwood

        I was thinking about fire too. I’m guessing anthropologists would tell us the spread of fire was more of a “slow burn” (sorry) in part because of the difficulty in understanding how to use and control it (and even conceive of it). While the spread of the wheel would seem painfully slow compared with Pokemon Go, from what I understand it spread like fire (again sorry) by Neolithic standards, and its applications, especially to war, more immediately obvious.I was also thinking about the Cotton Gin, but it appears to be more like Minecraft than Pokemon Go —… … slow build.

        1. Paul Robert Cary

          The wheel definitely has sustained popularity, but it is hard to say how quickly it was adopted. “Blast off” means different things in different eras, of course.The Cotton Gin is a fascinating story.

        2. Mac

          Voyager……..and, remakes of Charlie’s Angels.

        3. Christian Keil

          Speaking of fire – how do you think we would have responded to it, if it was developed as a technology product is now?http://www.pronouncedkyle.c

  4. William Mougayar

    I can’t either. I prefer underdogs that come from behind and do well over a long period of time, rather than an overnight success that has no legs nor staying power.

    1. awaldstein

      What’s a long time?If you spike, own market share for 3-5 years, generate value and wealth, then crash or get bought and die, that to me is a success.

      1. William Mougayar

        that scenario would be success, but not a “long” time type.

        1. awaldstein

          success is money in the mattress my friend to all involved.

          1. William Mougayar

            If a company crashes, typically people get hurt.

  5. awaldstein

    The hardware we built to drive gaming on the PC was a perfect example of a spike till it oversaturated the market, went to chip sets, then online.What lasted was the gaming franchises and companies (EA and others) that were built to drive those short lived hardware platforms.

  6. Matt Zagaja

    Pokemon Go wasn’t an overnight success. It took years for the regular Pokemon games to plant the seeds and then an iteration of the game/technology from without Pokemon intellectual property before Pokemon Go could happen. Pokemon Go is not the pet rock or virtual pets, Pokemon Go is very much the Apple approach to success: they remixed existing things in a way people did not expect.

    1. Nicholas Osgood

      Valid point. This iteration had over a decade of brand value + fans that were built up.

      1. JLM

        .Proving it takes about a decade to become an overnight success?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Nicholas Osgood

          Incorrect. GO was not an overnight success per Matts comment.”We could not think of a huge product, in tech or outside of tech, that blasted off and was a sustainably popular product for a decade or more.”

          1. JLM

            .Nick, read my comment again. You may have missed what it meant.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. LE

      It took years for the regular Pokemon games to plant the seeds and then an iteration of the game/technology from without Pokemon intellectual property before Pokemon Go could happen.This reminds me of Hillary vs. Donald and Bernie. Hillary worked for a long time to get to where she is as the Democratic nominee. Slow over time.But both Donald and Bernie more or less came from nowhere and within a year took the world by storm. The ‘seeds’ for both of them of course were over time. Trump with his fame and Bernie with his public service. Trump is no doubt the true ‘overnight success’ with politics obviously.This is all a matter of degree of course because everything has some underpinning which makes the quick success possible. I often call this ‘the thing that leads to the thing’ in another context.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        But, but, but, but, on The Donald, you don’t understand, you just do NOT understand, and I will have to explain to you:E.g., there is an apparently recent Netflix video clip of some long ago, former guests on Trump’s The Apprentice that commented on Trump. One of the guests said that Trump is a narcissist and, really, just wants 100% coverage for his name and just to win just to say he won. So, with that the guest said he will vote for Hillary.See, are you seeing now?Or, he wanted Captain America, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the best John Wayne characters all in one, sadly concluded that Trump is not all of that, so has decided to vote for Hillary. That’s like saying that want pure, distilled drinking water; the water from the faucet has calcium carbonate in it; so will drink sewage instead!Lesson: That’s the way a lot of people think, if have to call it that.Off to Rio! Take some military grade mosquito repellant, the full range of GI medication, and some things for some really awful skin, eye, and lung conditions, and dream of Hillary! Just the place to dream of Hillary! Ah, semi-wonderful Rio!And, with Hillary, soon we can have most of the wonders of Rio right here in the USA!But, wait, there’s more: With Hillary and her immigration policies, we can also have our very own ISIS radical Islamic terrorist attack of the week, naw, daily, right here in the US — no longer have to go to Germany, Baghdad, Istanbul, Benghazi, Jerusalem, etc. for such wonders!But, wait, that’s not all, there’s more! Anything you want, just call up Bill, and he will be able to quote an amount for a contribution to the Clinton Foundation and a speaking fee! What you want, coming right up! “Hillary for Sale!”.

      2. PhilipSugar

        John Hanke, the founder has been working on the concept for more than a decade. I know for a fact.

    3. PhilipSugar

      Look up John Hanke. I am disappointed Fred calls this an overnight success.

    4. Donna Brewington White

      Pretty impressive, actually.Now that is an inspiring story for business leaders to be aware of.

    5. Ayush Neupane

      Agreed! Wanted to add another point – the state of technology we are at now has greater scale than ever before (and that will only keep on growing). Trying to find historical precedence is going to be tough with this one. An appropriate way to compare would be to find the ratio of installed base to total devices it could be installed on at that time. Even that will not be accurate since the rate at which people find out about new things is much faster than ever before.

  7. S R Jeyashankher


    1. Yair Riemer

      No “blast off” for Gmail… People still had Yahoo / AOL etc. before market switched to Google… Gmail had that beta tag for years after as well!

  8. LIAD

    Fad – noun: an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived.”intense” – cannot be maintained long term”widely shared” – bandwagon effect. easy come easy go.”A fad is a product that has little, if any, utility, and usually does not satisfy a strong consumer need” – hearkens back to Jobs To Be Done. No utility, no longevity.

  9. Gabriel Brown

    Google Search (back in the day)

    1. Kent Karlsen

      Two years study and five years without any revenue and silent upgrades?

  10. creative group

    Contributors:Bluetooth technology was unveiled in 1999, but it wasn’t until the start of the 21st century that manufacturers began to adopt it.

  11. creative group

    Contributors:One day it will be Teleportation: In 2002, research at the Australian National University resulted in the successful teleportation of a laser beam. This research was an extension of an earlier experiment at Caltech in which a proton was successfully teleported.

  12. Ana Milicevic

    Digital channels have changed our perception of scale – given traditional distribution channels, what’s the equivalent of 75MM downloads? 1MM sales? 500k?Household items come to mind – microwave, toaster, mop, etc. In the category of ‘stuff we all need to have but don’t really pay much attention to’

    1. awaldstein

      True–from my distant past we sold 90m Sound Blasters in 3 years. That plus white box oem and chips was the market.Small numbers compared to today.

      1. Vasudev Ram

        90 m in 3 years is still pretty high for most products that are not commodities.

        1. awaldstein

          I walked into the office above the batting cages in Santa Clara in mid Jan to meet the other 2 guys involved.We started Creative USA, took it public that August, bought the master distributor contract from Brown & Way (who held it from the Singaporean parent) with the capital raised, and ran at full speed for four years.From 1% of the game developer market to 98%, from a bunch of containers of sound boards coming in on boats, to freight planes flying them in and selling them everyone. Literally everywhere in every format imaginable.Largest distributor of Windows multimedia extensions on the planet for the run with quarterly meetings with Gates. Sold–I think some 45m CD Rom players in bundles after we invented the MuliMedia Upgrade kit and the Lite Game.Ahh–to be king for short while traveling to Singapore and Europe every month.

          1. Vasudev Ram

            Great story.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Good point, Ana.

  13. Judy B

    What about Google search?

  14. Chris O'Donnell

    The microwave oven? I remember everybody getting one almost immediately in the late 70s / early 80s, and I’d guess 70% or more of homes still have one today, even if they don’t get used for much more than reheating leftovers and popcorn.

    1. Paul Robert Cary

      And leftover popcorn ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. JLM

      .It is corn season where I live.Put three ears of fresh corn on a paper napkin on a microwavable plate, wet the paper napkin, zap it at P10 for 4 minutes.I eat corn every night.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. Richard

      And they are still putting these useless contraptions in new $800/SQ ft condos!

  15. Andreas Mahringer

    Google Search?

  16. G

    The Sony PlayStation.

  17. jason wright

    no (and it’s certainly not Steem)

  18. Todd Savage


  19. Robert Heiblim

    Well, there is the Frisbee and the Hula Hoop, but generally you are spot on Fred.

  20. LIAD

    rollout of analogue goods and services take in the digital realm we’ve now unrealistic expectations about what skyrocketing growth from launch looks like.

  21. Accelent, Inc

    ice cream

  22. Paul Robert Cary

    The tobacco pipe (Europe).

  23. Henry Chalian

    – Steam Engine (Enterprise, first B2B then B2C)- Telegraph (Remember congratulatory telegraphs at weddings…)- Landline Telephone (For close to 100 years it was the base infrastructure for almost all communication, whereas today we use email, chat, SMS, CRMs etc. to basically do the same thing)

    1. Paul Robert Cary

      All great inventions but did any of these truly “blast off”?

      1. Henry Chalian

        I understand where you are coming from – essentially the timing. What I think you should keep in mind is the timing for the era. I suggest that the GTM timing and speed equations have changed over time (years, decades, centuries, eras…). What we think of fast today is very different than what was considered fast, lets say a 150 years ago and so on.

        1. Paul Robert Cary

          Tied to literacy and the speed of dissemination of information.Today essentially illiterate people can pick up trends off a viral YouTube video and download a mobile app.I cited a couple of examples that didn’t require neither literacy nor complex manufacturing to disseminate. The tobacco pipe after the ‘discovery’ of the Americas and the steel helmet after the first few months of WW1.

  24. Vendita Auto

    Online porn

  25. Paul Robert Cary

    The steel helmet (1914).

  26. hwilker

    In medicine, new procedures and new devices/instruments sometimes follow the “boom” path of innovation distribution. Resistance against new stuff in the sector is fundamentally high, since it might be unsafe and endanger patients. This holds even if a new device shows positive outcomes. Once its safety is also demonstrated, however, it becomes the new gold standard and everybody starts using it as fast as they can (well, anybody who can afford to – but everybody wants to). Until the next thing comes along.There is a hidden “slow burn” here as well – “demonstrating safety” usually takes a lot of time and effort in pre-clinical and clinical studies.

  27. Gustavo Melo

    It’s a question of accessibility vs. depth maybe? Pokemon Go is a unique type of AR that most people haven’t seem before, which makes it a novelty, plus it’s incredibly accessible because of its simplicity and the strong brand behind it.Soon the feeling of “I’ve already done all this a dozen times” will set in for a lot of people though. They’re just missing the depth to keep people engaged for the long term.Maybe a look at niantic’s original game might be worthwhile – some sort of unfolding storyline with new developments and changes to the environment or weekly / monthly goals may do the trick for a while longer, but then again that may erode the accessibility that has made it catch on so quickly.

  28. Ronan Perceval

    Instagram. It had a million downloads in its first few days of launch which in 2010 was a huge amount. And it kept on going

  29. marcoliver


  30. Kirsten Lambertsen


    1. Paul Robert Cary

      Some tech geek friends of mine had email accounts in 1989, my college offered us email accounts in 1994 but the majority of my friends only started using email circa 1996. Hard to define what “blast off” means in the 1990s versus today.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Yeah, maybe I should have qualified that as free personal email. I’m thinking of Hotmail, of course, and what came after.

  31. andyswan


    1. Amar

      Did you just up vote yourself? ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. andyswan

    Las Vegas

  33. andyswan


  34. scottythebody

    Wasn’t the Walkman relatively quick to succeed (a month or so) and then lasted a decade or more?The iPhone was pretty much an instant smash. Still going strong and it has almost been a decade.Indeed rare, it seems… But then, I only spent two minutes thinking about it.

  35. Jess Bachman

    Products like Pokemon Go are the signal flare than the underlying shift is going to occur.Pokemon Go is the hare, but the tortoise is AR. Not Augmented Reality, but “Actual Reality”. The success of that app has more to do with seeing other nerds out in the wild, in real life, outside of the internet, than it does with any tech play or Pokemon IP. Showing citizens of the internet that there are people around them with the same interest. Essentially, that we are not really alone in the meatspace.That’s the real shift, and the tortoise hasn’t arrived yet.

    1. MickSavant

      Maybe not. AR has been around for a while, including other games and barely anyone uses them. It’s not the AR, it’s the multi decade cultural phenomenon of Pokemon. The actual game itself is kind of stupid.

      1. Jess Bachman

        Read my comment, I’m not talking about Augmented Reality. Both that and Pokemon have existed for decades. But showing internet users that actual reality exists is the underlying trend. Tinder has more in common with Pokemon Go than any other AR app.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      “meatspace” ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. panterosa,

      @awaldstein. isn’t this what LocalSip wanted?

  36. JimHirshfield

    TNT had an explosive take up rate by the market. But the wheel, now there’s a technology that just chugged along for millennia.

    1. Paul Robert Cary

      Jim, you’re the bomb and always on a roll.

    2. Richard

      Jim, Get your Shit together …Toilet Paper and Disposable Diapers

  37. Christian Keil

    JT has done pretty well for himself after skyrocketing to *NSYNC fame.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Who is this?

      1. Christian Keil

        Justin Timberlake haha

  38. Heather Fields

    I think of innovations that may not have a lot of sizzle, but have staying power and continue to deliver value to my life – PayPal, QuickBooks, DropBox.

  39. Jeff Epstein

    King World Productions launched and promoted Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and The Oprah Winfrey Show. They immediately became the top 3 rated daily TV shows, and have continued there for 20+ years.

  40. MickSavant

    Microsoft Windows.

  41. Alex Murphy


    1. Donna Brewington White

      Said same. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. LaVonne Reimer

    Interesting comments but I’m still stuck back at the application of the tortoise and the hare to this conversation. Perhaps I’m stuck in the fond memory of parental interference with my oldest daughter’s science project in grade school. She was stuck. I suggested running a series of experiments to determine if there were any scientific basis to the story. We weren’t able to set up any controlled hare experiments (see what I did there?) but we had friends with turtles. We learned a lot about the role of distractions in pace. Not much could take the turtle off course. Our indirect research suggested hares are much more easily distracted. Carrot!I can recall many examples of apparent speed followed by crashes because the team got distracted and others that (as noted in a few places below) took off after a longer period of patiently staying the course.

  43. kevando

    America, 1776.They launched the new brand and fucking Britain invaded.

  44. Eric Vieira


    1. Nicholas Osgood


  45. Matt Zarzecki

    Google Maps.

  46. David A. Frankel

    The Beatles — while they broke up after about 10 years, I’d say their product still sells pretty well.

    1. JamesHRH

      Crazy slow build into that successโ€ฆyears of very hard work.

  47. Kent Karlsen

    A nice reflection. Like eCommerce is maybe a boring investment, but it create profit every day. Sales advertising also create value every day if you have perseverance. Boring but very profitable if put into a system, and there is growth opportunities. My experience as a consultant and entrenepreneur is that boring businesses that grow step by step is often undervalued as an investment among investors.

  48. JLM

    .Global Positioning System — GPS…I remember meeting Charlie Trimble when his company was a tenant of mine back in the 1980s. He ‘splained GPS to me and weaved this story of where it was going.He later went blind and I remember coming from a meeting with him when I said, “That guy sees more than anybody I know with eyes.”GPS has become an imbedded technology that we don’t even see anymore. It is in everything.I have two GPS’s embedded in my plane’s navigation system and a hand held backup system. Every gadget I own has a GPS. I put GPS chips in my kids cars. I should have sewed them into the kids.Think about it, you can buy the same tech that guides American ICBMs for less than $50. As a guy who made his living reading maps once upon a time, I wish they’d had GPS when I was in the Army.GPSJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Girish Mehta

      As an added benefit -, if somebody asks you What Good is Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in everyday life……you can say GPS.You can also say things like “Curvature of Spacetime” while discussing GPS. Now, be honest, how often do you get to say “Curvature of Spacetime” in everyday conversation ?Sorry for gratuitously repeating “Curvature of Spacetime”. Oops, said it again.GPS. Relativity. Yup.http://www.astronomy.ohio-s

    2. Vasudev Ram

      Didn’t know GPS was so widespread. Pretty cool.

    3. panterosa,

      I have a family friend who was at Yale when they figured out the coordinate basing. He says the buy could barely sell the hugeness of the idea because people couldn’t get their minds around it. He told me this when I said we had trouble fundraising. I guess I’m a turtle.

  49. Donna Brewington White

    Well not a product, per se, but AVC?

    1. Vasudev Ram

      Ha ha, good one indeed. Fred’s been blogging for around a decade or more, I guess. And daily for what, all or most of it? Must be some sort of record. Mine is nearing 10 years t too – another 2 years to a decade if I count only my current blog, and crossed 10 last year if I count my earlier blog too:Current blog: . Running it from 2008.Earlier blog: (readers may not be able to access it now, some years after LiveJournal was acquired, but I wrote a lot of fun posts on it). Ran it from 2005-2008.Both blogs are/were mainly on software topics, including startups, programming and programming languages, open source, Python, Linux, innovation, etc. Some photos / images of nature and a few jokes now and then.

  50. Adam Chainz

    Aluminium had a huge growth rate once the cheap process was figured out, and you’re still drinking your coke from it:

    1. panterosa,

      I love aluminum. the material, the uses, the recyclability.

      1. Chimpwithcans

        It is very energy intensive to make and recycle though, no?

  51. Donna Brewington White

    That story always disturbed me. The poor hare had ADD.

    1. panterosa,

      Donna, Jerry calls it Squirrel, from Up ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. Mac

      Thank you, Donna. I can’t thank you enough for clearing that up. It has also bothered me for years. My mind is now at rest. Now, on to the ‘briar patch’ issue.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        With Adderall and a GPS could’ve been an entirely different story.

  52. Joe Lazarus

    Not yet decades, but several of the longstanding top grossing mobile games rose quickly to popularity. For example, Clash of Clans became a top grossing game weeks after launch and has been in the Top 10 for 4 years. Most of the top grossing games have been in the charts for several years. The free charts have a lot of volatility, but the grossing charts are relatively stable. Will those games still be around at their 10 year anniversary? Maybe some. Will Pokemon Go? I doubt it. The anecdotal data I’ve looked at suggests it’s already on the decline.

  53. Vasudev Ram

    I can think of at least two:1. The personal computer. Invented more than a decade ago, and still selling in the millions, though the rate has slowed down after mobile.2. Java. Though not very popular initially, because they focused on applets at first, after they started server-side Java, i.e. first servlets, then JSP, then full J2EE (though even that was slow in 1st and maybe upto 2nd version), later time it became really huge and still is, in the enterprise. Also, over 10 years now, since Java came in 1995 and J(2)EE a few years later. I was in tech then too and remember the excitement. Was an early adopter of servlets, which were very cool and useful technology.I think a large part of the reason for Java’s success was twofold, both by Sun (and later probably also by other vendor companies and other interested parties in the industry, IBM, BEA, many others):a) Huge marketing efforts and spend by Sun – I read that it was in the millions of dollars over years.b) Similarly huge technical efforts to improve Java runtime performance, features, and libraries. It was initially quite slow and I know of a company that failed because they bet their business on porting an existing successful commercial product to Java. But after Sun put a lot of very highly qualified and experienced people to work on improving Java tech (including some famous figures, both already in Sun and others they hired from outside), it got really better in the above dimensions. And was a big success.

  54. William Mougayar

    Harry Potter?

  55. Sierra Choi

    Niantic’s Ingress was a pretty awesome app, although it ate all your battery power. Pokemon Go is a simplified, hacked version. I think its success wasn’t overnight since Niantic has been working in AR games for a long time. Soon everything will be AR games. No more 2D games.

  56. LE

    Contrast that with something like Minecraft which emerged slowly but seems to chug along getting more and more popular each year.My stepkids were all into Minecraft last year. My stepson actually spent some of his own money ($200) to buy some feature that allowed him special privileges. We laughed when he said he would ‘be able to use this forever’ and he said it in a way as if he would be playing Minecraft forever. No longer. Haven’t seen anything with that in maybe a half a year. On to other games (it was something which I don’t even remember until Pokemon Go came out they made my wife even drive them somewhere to play that game).So my question is to what extent are these fads or games like Minecraft able to pickup new users to replace the departing users? It’s a bit like online dating websites churn wise except that that seems stable by comparison.I wonder to what extent investors have a way to tap into the network of elementary and middle school kids to see what they are talking about. (Last week it was some kind of dance step that everyone seemed to be doing that I observed..)

  57. Richard

    The bible, the television, radio, the auto, the lightbulb, the camera, the toaster, the coffee pot, coffee, aspirin…..

  58. The Editorial Board

    First thing that came to mind was the Air Jordan. Introduced in 1985, still dominating.

    1. george

      Best consumer product lifecycle ever!

  59. kidmercury

    ken griffey jr. best high school baseball player ever maybe, first 11 seasons in MLB were insane. that dude was born to play, even more so than other athlete phenoms.also facebook, its growth rate kept growing which makes data vizualiations look like it started slow but it was hot straight out the gate.

    1. Rob Larson

      Bryce Harper. Unbelievably fast ascension to elite MLB status.

  60. Gregory Magarshak

    Well, it depends on what you mean by fast. If you look at the uptake rates of Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. they all progressively beat each other. They set the record for their time.Many of the social networks had a quick rise actually. You guys should know, you invested in Twitter probably partly because of that :)https://cdn4.redes-sociales…That said, I believe that slow and steady wins the race in serious stuff, like GMail, which still has the most users of anybody in business!

  61. LE

    Ezpass (and equivalents)…If there weren’t governments (and lard ass union workers) [1] involved it probably would have been adopted nearly overnight. (So perhaps the definition of ‘fast’ needs to be altered for ‘unalterable adoption friction’..)[1] Which is not the same as saying ‘all union members are lard asses’. Just that I remember back at rollout in my area a toll taker telling me how bad ezpass was (they had to guarantee that no union worker would lose a job in order to get ezpass adopted in some places).

  62. Dennis Mykytyn

    Is this a trick question? The answer is Pokemon, of course. A hit in 1995 and still going strong in many variants, besides Pokemon GO.

  63. William Mougayar


  64. andrewparker

    The adoption curves of popular, widespread technologies. Steepest look to be VCR and Internet.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Gee, Andrew, most of your curves look curiously close to the attached curves that are for various values of k solutions of the initial value problem for the first order, linear ordinary differential equationy'(t) = k y(t) ( b – y(t) )where time t is on the horizontal axis and size y is on the vertical axis.So the curves increase asymptotically up to b.Can derive this equation by saying that the growth is directly proportional to both the current size y(t) and the size (b – y(t)) yet to be achieved.Can regard this differential equation as describing a case of viral growth where the growth rate is proportional the number of current users talking to the number of target users yet to be users.At one time, this analysis kept our investors from General Dynamics from walking out and saved FedEx.

  65. kellercl

    Beats Headphones

  66. sigmaalgebra

    (1) The original Xerox photocopier.(2) The Diablo/Xerox daisy wheel printer.(3) The IBM PC.(4) The Mosaic/Netscape/Firefox Web browser.(5) The Windows NT family, especially version Windows XP.(6) IBM’s DB/2 relational database.(7) RISC processors.(8) ARM processors.(9) Solid state disk drives, e.g., now from Samsung 14 TB in the 3.5″ form factor (maybe the 10 years is not up yet, but there’s little doubt of reaching 10 years).(10) Giant magneto resistive disk heads.(11) Working on it!

  67. pointsnfigures

    The wheel was big in it’s day. Seriously, electronic trading if you could categorize it as a product

  68. panterosa,


  69. panterosa,

    Standards.As in much of what the first emperor of China did.

  70. Diego Ventura

    I believe electric lighting might be the perfect example. Once it appeared it quickly grew and maintained it’s domination. https://onclimatechangepoli

  71. Trevor Sumner

    I think the tortoise in this case, is a hare in disguise. The history of Pokemon Go and the years it took to come to fruition paint a slower story. Overnight successes often take a long amount of work. As for products that jumped in usage and sustained, Google, although an adaptation of previous search engines. Email was explosive. The Teddy Bear. Interesting history there.

  72. ShanaC

    I can name 4 actually, assuming we can control for other sorts of scaling costs/price structures involved.1) Electricity. Basically, as soon as it was safe and feasible to get in a given middle class area, pretty much everyone electrified their houses in that area. The places that last got electricity are now the same places that we argue about last mile broadband issues. It remains today a very popular technology that we do not think about at all as a technology.2) Telegraph. Basically came with trains. It’s last last last element of death finally came this year in the US, when the weather service FINALLY STOPPED SCREAMING!3) Radio – as soon as the cost drop, it became a pop entertainment technology. But wait! it is the technology that never stops dying. LTE, is after all, radio. So no Pokemon Go for anyone without Radio adoption.4)TV – while technically the first sets and broadcasts were up and running for the Berlin games, who was going to spend the money for one event coming out of the depression, and the technology was basically set aside until after the war because everyone had to build ships or go to the Pacific and the Bulge. This turned out to be a good thing for TVs, since a lot of the internal components were improved during the war because of the war effort, plus all the people were working/being soldiers and not spending any cash. Immediately after the war, however, there was a massive purchase of a lot of things, especially houses, which were all furnished with TVs. Then people watched Ed Sullivan on them, while eating a mysterious thing known as the TV dinner. Yuck.I probably could go on – maybe the growth curve of vacuum cleaners looks like pokemon go – though I doubt that. I’m almost certain that dishwasher and refrigerator washing machines, once they hit a certain price point, almost definitely do.A technology that looks like the way you are describing pokemon go – the sabine-salk vaccine. If everyone is vaccinated, uneccessary anymore. If the idea is done, why bother thinking about it. So pokemon go has to be more than a game to survive is what I think you are trying to get at.

  73. leapy

    Viagra – so I understand. People still email me about it…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. VorpalIncis


  75. LaMarEstaba

    I think that Pokemon Go is here to stay. There’s a major social aspect to it. The more people who do it, the more who will want to do it. Anybody who played with Pokemon ever thinks that it’s awesome that there are Pokemon in augmented reality. It’s not today’s flavor – it’s already becoming widely adopted.I remember the Draw Something craze. It was also a social game. But it crashed all the time, and eventually all of us moved on.Pokemon has such a big existing fan base that I can’t imagine all of us moving on like we did from Draw Something.

  76. george

    The iPhone bumper case, it blew up and is still going strong; almost a decade now.

  77. jason wright

    Aesop sounds like a politician’s speech writer to me.

  78. Mitchell Henderson


  79. catwell

    The original Pokemon games. They are the 20th best selling games of all time on all platforms, and the 2nd best selling game on the Game Boy.Of course the first one, Tetris, would also qualify.

  80. Mike B

    World of Warcraft started out huge, and has been a pretty relevant game for many many years since. Thats the best example I can come up with.

  81. Roy Bahat

    I think this happens more often with media products, which is arguably the way to think of Pokemon Go. Thriller… Star Wars… (Harry Potter, which someone mentioned below)… Snow White… P.S. I used to figure this out. #proudinvestor

  82. Theo

    The HP12C calculator. It’s been around since 1981 and unlike most devices there’s been little erosion in its price over time (it’s still $50 on Amazon today).

  83. Girish Mehta

    Same. The reason in my case was that I found it did not support healthy eating.

  84. Donna Brewington White

    Ah, seeing you here reminds me… My sister is leading an Urban Garden project in Harrisburg and I told her about your Community Garden. I need to introduce you.

  85. Jess Bachman

    Time is compressing. 6 years is a life time now. There were 12 fads that were created and died by the time you finished reading this sentence.

  86. Girish Mehta

    Link Charlie ? Sometimes, myths attributed to Johns Hopkins.Went down the rabbit hole of PubMed a couple of years back. That was fun.