Now, concentration is helpful when trying to change one person's mind that we talked about. But it also has implications for larger scale change when trying to transform an organization, spark a social movement, or get a product, service, or idea to catch on. Take into homes good startups to trying to gain attraction. Resources whether time, money, or personnel are often limited, so there's a trade off between breadth and depth. There are so many marketing dollars they can spend, so choices have to be made. Should we spread resources out or run ads in 10 different markets or should we go after just one market and get more people to hear about us in that particular place? The same chose true more generally. For trying to get a social movement to take off, we don't have enough resources to hold rallies everywhere, should we hold them in a concentrated region or spread them out more? You can think about these two approaches as different types of strategies. One is a Sprinkler approach and one is a Fire Hose approach. Sprinklers spread water out. They sprinkle a little here and a little there, providing broad coverage relatively quickly. That coverage isn't deep in any one place, but many places get attention. All the grass within range, it gets a little bit wet. But fire hoses are more concentrated. Rather than spreading water out, they saturate one area again and again. Consequently, hitting multiple areas happens sequentially rather than simultaneously. Drenching one area first and then moving on to another. So if we're a startup or our organization is trying to figure out what we should do with our scarce resources, which is better? A sprinkler approach or a fire hose one? Well, conventional wisdom would say that the sprinkler strategy is better. It raises broader awareness, diversifies risk, and increase the chance of a first-mover advantage. If I want to reach 10 cities eventually, starting in all 10 of them, make sure that we get all those 10 cities to at least have some interest in what we're doing. Otherwise, it takes a while to move from one city to another. If we start in Washington DC, for example, it might slowly moved to Philadelphia and then New York, and then Boston and so on. Restarting all those cities at once, it increases the chance that it catches on in all of them very quickly. But it's conventional wisdom, right? Is a sprinkler strategy always more effective? Well, the answer is, it depends. It depends on whether the thing we're trying to change is more of a weak attitude or a strong one, as we talked about before, more of a pebble or more of a boulder. Let me explain a little bit more about what I mean. Take two different cities, New York and Los Angeles, for example and for simplicity's sake, imagine each has only four people. In New York, the people A, B, C, and D, and Los Angeles has people, E, F, G, and H. People are densely connected within cities and so they're friends with everyone else in that particular place, but they're not as strongly tied to people in other cities. People share things with their friends, if only one person knows about something, they'll tell the others. Now, there's only enough resources to target two people, which is better. Spreading things out and targeting one-person each market, one in New York and one in LA or concentrating our resources and going after two people in the same place; two in New York, for example, and none in LA. Well, for weaker attitudes, for pebbles cases where only a little proof for little evidences needed, the sprinkler strategy works really well. People will spread the word to their friends reaching one person in each market is eventually enough to reach all of them. If we reach person A, they'll tell person B, and C, and D and so on. Same thing in LA, they'll tell everyone else they know. So a little proof when it's enough to change minds, hearing from just one person will be enough to get everyone to change. Makes sense to spread things out and target one person in each market. In fact, in that situation, concentrating things would waste resources. People hear about things multiple times more than they would need, and so eventually, those resources could be better spent elsewhere. But what if people need more corroborate events? What if it's more of a boulder than a pebble? What if they need to hear multiple sources before they'll change? Well, for these situations, a sprinkler strategy won't garner as much traction. Sure we can reach one person in New York and they'll tell everyone they know, they'll tell person B, C, and D. But because people need to hear from multiple sources before they change, hearing from one person won't be enough. Target just one person in each market and they'll tell everyone they know, but no one else will change. Consequences and more corroborating evidence is needed, using a fire hose is more effective. Rather than targeting one person in two different markets, concentrate all those resources in one place. Two people in one market rather than one person in each. Both recipients will tell their friends and because this prospect is now heard from two others, they'll change as well. It will take more time eventually to reach that second market, but the fire hose will find enough proof for more people to change. You can even think about the same idea within regions. Individuals or organizations, for example, can be classified into different segments: groups, or types of people and businesses, and just like those geographic regions, social ties tend to be denser within groups than between them. Teenagers are friends with other teenagers, moms tend to hangout with other moms. The accounting department tends to hangout with the accounting folks. The IT people tend to hangout with the IT people. Whether it's better to concentrate resources in one group or spread them out across two or more groups, depends on the threshold for change. If a little proof or if a little is enough to drive action, then a sprinkler strategy is ideal. Go after each group simultaneously without much depth. When more corroborating evidence is needed, well, then we need to concentrate those resources. Focusing on teens first and only later, going after moms. Targeting the accounting group initially and only then moving on to IT. Creating social incubators where people can't help but hear from multiple sources, increasing the likelihood that they'll switch too. You might be suddenly there going, "Okay, that's great," but how do I know if my thing is a pebble or a boulder? How do I know if it's something that needs more proof or less? Well, the more time-consuming, expensive, or risky, or controversial something is, the more likely it is to be a boulder, something that requires more proof. Think about monetary costs for example, a nine dollar stapler, that shouldn't be too difficult to get people to purchase. One recommendation from one colleague or a post online or a view is probably sufficient. But a nine million dollar digital transformation, people are going to need a lot more proof to take action. Same goes for risk, encouraging someone to try LASIK, a laser vision and correction procedure, but done millions of times, that doesn't require much work. The risk isn't non-existent, but it's a proven procedure. Getting the same personnel to try something new, less tested, different procedure, much more evidence is going to be needed. Much more is going to be needed to overcome that uncertainty and make people feel comfortable enough to give it a try. The more that's at stake, the greater the financial cost, the higher the reputational risk, the more proof or evidence that's needed. In summary, somethings need more proof, but one person? Well, they're often not enough. So in those situations, we need to find corroborating evidence. Sure, we can come back and try to change someone by providing more evidence ourselves, but that won't solve the translation problem. People are going to need multiple opinions to support our case. As we've talked about, certain types of others are more impactful. Using similar others that come from independent groups is going to increase the impact. Concentrating them over time will make sure that people hear from enough others to change, and which is better? A sprinkler approach or a fire hose one? Well, it depends. If we have a pebble, that sprinkler is going to be much better. If there's a low threshold for change, spread those resources out and get everyone to hear about you once. But the more change is hard, the more it's a strong attitude, we're trying to move a boulder, that's where concentration is going to be more impactful. Using a fire hose is more effective and more people will change their minds.