Why New Media Favors the Underdog

Pug laying on ground

Underdogs stories litter the new media landscape.

The creation of Napster turned into one of the web’s biggest game-changers ever, if not certainly for the 90s.

Shawn Fanning created the music-sharing site in June 1999 while in college and the site operated in its original form for more than two years. The music industry succeeded in shutting down the site in July 2001 through a court order, but not before Napster changed the music industry.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in Jobs’ bedroom. Mark Zuckerburg and friends began Facebook while in college at Harvard, initially limiting the site’s members to just college students.

Ideas and Companies Start Small

Technology is full of underdog stories that started somewhere small. People love that type of story. It encourages the kind of thinking that says anyone can succeed with the right idea.

It’s why the idea itself, and the story behind it, is my favorite idea in new media.

Think about it. Without the story behind companies like Apple, Facebook, and even Google, these organizations would have never reached the success they enjoy today.

Dreams in life rely on the power of newfound notoriety and change. We all want to be somebody. Change something. We want to come out of nowhere and build something worth recognizing. It’s why we all identify and crave success stories like these.

That Idea is Fueled by Belief and Story

Sure, these tech giants found supporters and funding, but they all started with just a simple inkling of an idea. However, the founders believed in those ideas and started building the story that goes with them.

All companies start as underdogs. Surviving as a new organization in the technology world will always prove difficult thanks to the industry’s ever-changing landscape and blistering pace.

But that against all odds backdrop will always appeal to news media, tech insiders, the general public and anyone wanting to hit on the next big idea.

Image by Andrea016.

Note: This post is a short assignment for my class in Interactive Media Management and Economics about great ideas in the business of new media.

Published by David A. Kennedy

I work as a Senior UX Designer at Ad Hoc, focusing on accessibility.