There isn’t one shark

Happy Days is famous for jumping the shark. In an episode near the end of their run, the writers ran out of ideas and went so far to please the masses that they wrote a script in which Fonzie, wearing a leather jacket, rode water skis up a ramp and over a shark.

Since then, the kind of people who like to say, "no one goes there anymore, it's too crowded," are happy to point out when a popular organization jumps the shark.

The thing is, there isn't one shark. There's your shark, my shark and their shark. The masses have a different shark than the early adopters do.

For some, Apple has already jumped the shark. A new upgrade or a new TV commercial might be a step too far, and they walk away, sad that yet another cutting edge organization has succumbed to mass mediocrity. For others, they're just feeling safe enough to take a shot, and the shark is nowhere in sight.

The insight is to have the empathy not to confuse your shark with the shark of the kind of person you're hoping to delight. Choose your customers, choose their shark.