I’m a big fan of those laws and concepts that seem to neatly describe the world, like Hanlon’s Razor, or Parkinson’s Law… um wait, did I already do a post on this, or is that just the Mandela Effect?
No matter – anyway – the Lindy Effect is an interesting one when it comes to product design and, if you’re a non-technical founder looking to build a technology business.
The Lindy Effect, more or less, states that the longer something has been around, the longer it is likely to be around. For example, if a book has been in print for 50 years, it is more likely to continue to be in print for another 50 years.
Another for example, you might be able to imagine a world without an iPhone, but can you imagine a world where people don’t carry around a supercomputer with them, linked into a global network of all human knowledge? Functionally, can you imagine trying to find your way around a city with an old school paper atlas, as opposed to using some digital information system like Google Maps or its successor?
This may seem like a highfalutin’ concept to apply to digital businesses, but it can help you make decisions. If someone’s asking whether you want an app distributed via the app stores, or you want a web app that people can access from their phone – the app stores have been around for 15 years, can the Lindy Effect help inform your decision?