Friday, February 18, 2011

What's the Rush??

Kicking my shoes off on a Friday, and thinking back over this past week. Have been chatting with my-son-the-gamer about "rushes."
And I don't mean the kind of rush you get when you level-up in Halo, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, etc., etc. (Yep, I'm learnin' the lingo...)

I'm more interested in figuring out what the "next new thing" or even the "current new thing" is. What everyone's rushing to, in terms of making easy money.
Like the Gold Rush in California (1849).
Or, the Silver Rush in Colorado (1879).
Or, the boom (mid-1990s).
Or... the real estate boom (early-ish 2000s). 

(If you're interested in some of the commonalities, here's a great New York Times article from 2000 talking about the Gold Rush, the Oil Rush, and the Rush that sums things up nicely...) 

It's more a frame of mind I'm looking for: The get in, get rich, get out mentality that doesn't see failure as a personal possibility.
With these kind of rushes, you also tend to find a media frenzy that feeds into/off of the growing belief of the populace that, hey, look at all those folks who did [whatever], I can do it and become rich too!

For instance, how many people do you know who became real-estate agents in the early- to mid-2000s, thinking it'd be "easy money?" Or people who got into the "flipping houses" game?

Okay, I think we'd agree that's pretty much over.

So, what's the hot topic now?

 Is it social networks? Facebook. Twitter. deviantART. LinkedIn. These are the ones off the top of my head. How easy is it to actually start up a new social network?
Is it apps? Angry Birds, anyone?
Is it online games? ... heard of MineCraft?
Is it cleantech/greentech? Solar energy, smart grid, electric cars. Hmm.

In my little corner of the world, in the publishing and writing field, I can see/sense a "rush" mentality regarding epublishing and ebooks. I hear echoes of what I think of as "rush rhetoric":
It's easy!
Anyone can do it!
So-and-so is making $$$ per month, selling his/her ebooks... and you can too!

What do you think?


  1. Wow, great question!
    Maybe this is the difference: the e-rush (I like that) has more to do with getting published than actually getting rich. Not that we wouldn't like to give up our day jobs and indulge freely in trips to New York (oh, wait, that's me) but most authors are looking to get their gems of writing out there, not to strike it rich with one book and never write again.

    That's a bit of a muddle, it might take more posts from me later!

  2. Hi Camille! Hmmm. Good point. But I still see the "getting rich" rhetoric floating around the whole e-publishing issue. "So-and-so sold umpty-ump books this month alone...!" and "Look! You make [pick-a-number] per book when you e-publish, and don't won't have to share [your glorious profits] with publishers, agents, [etc. etc.]."
    ... I swear I've heard it all before. Only back in the '90s, it was stock options that had people a-buzz. :-)

  3. You make a good point. It could be all the more tempting now with the economy so down and collectively people are a bit more "vulnerable" to these kinds of trends/schemes.

    I must say as a book consumer, since receiving a kindle for xmas, I'm very tempted to lean towards available e-books now. The instant gratification is so tempting....and the prices are a bit lower for new material. However...if I really love a book, I usually want a hard copy too.

  4. Hi Penny! You're right ... I think when people are out of work, worried, etc., they are more likely to consider a scheme that promises "quick results." Think of all the folks who, caught in mortgage binds, signed up for questionable refinance programs, only to find themselves in more trouble than ever! As for eReaders, I envy you your Kindle! I've been eyeballing the various eReader options for some time now. I have a severe case of "technolust" and want one NOW. Must. Be. Patient. ;-) A little more research must be done before buying...