Popularity Vs. Success! Do they go Together?

New York CIty Columbus circle

We had a great opportunity on Kitchen Table Companies (affiliate link) to talk to @ChrisBrogan and ask questions via Ustream a few days ago as part of the #KTCOH (Kitchen Table Companies Office Hours).

One of the things @chrisbrogan touched upon was the difference in trying to be popular and being succesful. I have been trying to look for ways to make this blog and some of my other efforts more successful. For me being popular is not an objective neither do I care. I have never been a fan of winning popularity contests. I rather share my values and thoughts and get disagreement than have everyone agree with me when I compromise my own value system.

Short Dictionary Definitions of Success and Popularity

Popularity – Well Liked with High Social Status.

Success – Accomplishing an aim or Purpose.

Why Nerds are not Popular?

One of the best examples I read online was “Why Nerds are Not Popular?“. This post written a while back got me thinking on some reasons why being popular and succesful can be two different things. I enjoyed the post so much I summarized it in the following lines.

Being Smart

Being Smart is one of the reasons that can steer you away from popularity (It also has a strong bond with being a nerd). It can complicate your life from a social standpoint since it makes you really focus on things that are important instead of making people do things to make others happy.

What motivates a Nerd?

A nerd can be motivated by doing well in school, building an awesome computer software, enhancing their writing skills, and overall creating things that can make other people say WOW!

Learning and wanting to be popular

Most nerds don’t get the part of wanting to be popular and that there is a learning process to become popular. At the end of the day they are more focused on beings successful and meeting there goals than wanting people to be happy around them.

My Definition and interpretation of success and Popularity from my point of view.

Overall I see how many in the corporate world end up getting promoted because they are playing the popularity game. Just a few weeks I lost a client because she did not want to hear the honest reason why I thought there effort was failing. She would have preferred me telling her to take the wrong route just to make her happy. I lost my client but I earned the respect of many at the client that agreed with me and long term there might be the possibility that this person realizes that I clearly wanted the best for her effort.

I strive to be successful although for me Success Is not having to cut the grass. I make sure that whatever I do I am completely committed. I am continously trying to reach a peak but as my online friend @margieclayman has taught me I start looking for a new one to climb once I reached the one I had in mind.

I see many people using twitter or facebook just worried about the count of followers or likes instead of actually extending themselves to serve a purpose. I am a firm believer that many of them think that success is winning a popularity contest. The main rason why this happnes is because there ego’s are more important than building a community.

I know many nerds that have taken play key parts in the global economy and they sure where not popular just browser over Warren Buffet’s biography The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of LifePhotos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

To all of you going after the numbers or are you winning a Popularity Contest? Can you go for being Mr. Popular and being successful at the same time?




  1. Prometeo on May 14, 2011 at 1:33 pm

     People who crave attention and seek popularity will do anything to obtain it. That’s the moment when they screw up either because they make themselves ridiculous or because in their way to the top they push, shove and mistreat those around them forgetting that what goes up must come down and on the way down one might find those persons that we shoved and pushed while going up. 

    • Raul Colon on May 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm


      I have to agree. That is my main point. they become attention whores and don’t realize or don’t want to accept the consequences!