Navigating Desires and the Dangers of Early Hype in Consumer Social



Aug 04, 2023 โ€ข 4 min read


Navigating Desires and the Dangers of Early Hype in Consumer Social


Understanding our desires and the influence they have on our lives is crucial for personal growth and fulfillment. In this article, we will explore the nature of desires, their social origins, and how they can be both liberating and detrimental. Additionally, we will delve into the pitfalls of early hype in consumer social platforms and why it is important to approach it with caution. By examining these interconnected topics, we can gain valuable insights into making informed decisions and finding true satisfaction in our lives.

Understanding Desires:

Desires, unlike needs, stem from an intellectual appetite for things we perceive as good, regardless of whether they are actually beneficial or not. These desires are primarily driven by our will, which compels us to strive towards their fulfillment. However, since desires are rooted in a sense of lack, they rarely bring us lasting joy. Instead, they often lead to a continuous pursuit of something beyond our reach.

The Social Nature of Desire:

Desire is not solely an individual experience but rather a social process. Our desires are heavily influenced by the models we encounter in our environment. These models can be both internal, such as friends and family, and external, including celebrities and media figures. Advertisers understand this mimetic nature of desire and often capitalize on it by showcasing others' desires for a particular product or lifestyle.

Identifying Influential Models:

To gain a deeper understanding of our desires, it is essential to recognize the models that shape them. Internal models, consisting of people we interact with directly, have a significant impact on our desires. On the other hand, external models, such as media personalities or historical figures, also play a role in shaping our aspirations. By being aware of these influences, we can better discern which desires are truly our own and which are products of external influences.

The Pitfalls of Mimetic Desire:

Mimetic desire, driven by our tendency to imitate what others desire, often leads to unnecessary competition and rivalry. It can hijack our desires, causing us to focus on what others have or want, rather than our own responsibilities and relationships. Breaking free from this cycle requires recognizing the system of desire we are enmeshed in and finding our own guiding principles. By understanding the history of our desires and their origins, we can regain control and pursue authentic aspirations.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Identify Your North Star: Take the time to discover what truly brings you joy and fulfillment, independent of external influences. Find your own guiding principles and let them steer your desires.
  • 2. Dive into Self-Reflection: Explore your past experiences and understand how they have shaped your desires. By gaining insight into your personal evolution, you can distinguish between long-held desires and fleeting impulses.
  • 3. Embrace Wonder and Openness: Cultivate an attitude of wonder and be open to the unexpected. By letting reality surprise you, you can break free from the confines of mimetic desire and find genuine satisfaction in the present moment.

The Dangers of Early Hype in Consumer Social:

In the realm of consumer startups, hype can make or break a company. While it may be tempting to generate hype early on, it is crucial to exercise caution. Hype creates an illusion of significance and can lead consumers to invest their time and engagement prematurely. However, once the hype subsidy diminishes, the network may struggle to sustain its initial momentum. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid hype until a startup has achieved product-market fit and has a robust flywheel in place.

The Power of Underestimation:

Being underestimated in the early stages of a startup can be advantageous. It provides the opportunity to refine and perfect the product without drawing excessive attention from incumbents. By the time competitors realize the potential of the product, it may be too late for them to catch up. Underestimation allows for more time to iterate and build a solid foundation before attracting significant attention.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Focus on Product-Market Fit: Prioritize achieving a strong product-market fit before seeking hype or external validation. Ensure that your product meets the needs and desires of your target audience before scaling up.
  • 2. Embrace Underestimation: Instead of striving for immediate hype, embrace being underestimated. Use this time to fine-tune your product, gather feedback, and build a loyal user base. This approach allows for more sustainable growth in the long run.
  • 3. Timing is Key: Be mindful of when to apply hype to your startup. Wait until you have a solid foundation and a proven track record of delivering value to your users. Premature hype can lead to inflated expectations and potential disappointment.


Understanding our desires and the forces that shape them is essential for personal growth and fulfillment. By recognizing the social nature of desire and the influence of models, we can navigate the complexities of our aspirations. Additionally, being cautious of early hype in consumer social platforms allows for more sustainable growth and success. By incorporating actionable advice, such as finding our own guiding principles and embracing underestimation, we can make informed decisions and find genuine satisfaction in our pursuits.

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