Lance 🐝 Scoular en beBee in English, Marketing, Education and Training The Savvy Navigator 🐝 beBee Brand Ambassador • Key Directions 22/7/2016 · 4 min de lectura · 1,6K

The Gold Rush Paradigm: Defined

The Gold Rush Paradigm: Defined

In recent months I have caught that disease often referred to as “Gold Fever.”

Not the real gold fever. The digital marketing kind. It’s contagious and generally caught though mixing with people who have joined the digital gold rush.

And perhaps this is bestdescribed by Gary Vaynerchuck in an interview on Larry King Now Apr 22 '16: Viewing time 26:44min.

“First we need to understand that social media’ is a slang term for the current state of the internet and when you position social media that way, you take it a lot more seriously."

Gary Vaynerchuck

Two Gold Nuggets

Since early April 2016 I have been pursuing the “golden nugget” of Snapchat. And for a week now I have had my eyes fixed on a second “gold nugget” beBee. Two very different platforms, but gaining traction rapidly.

With both I need to wipe the glitter out of my eyes and try to get a feel for what are the features and benefits and also see whether it was worth investing my time.

And why?

Because, I know only too well, the outplaying of the “Gold Rush Paradigm.”

And what is “The Gold Rush Paradigm” you ask?

The Gold Rush Paradigm conveys the counter-intuitive proposition that those who succeeded consistently during a gold rush, were not the mass of miners, but those who sold to the miners, the picks, shovels and other supplies, that the miners used for their prospecting.

The various well known gold rushes from the late 1840’s to the late 1890’s in California, the Klondike, Australia and South America were typical examples of the phenomenon.

To understand the Gold Rush Paradigm, and its implications for the tech and economic “gold rushes” of today, it is helpful to first consider...

The Gold Rush Mentality

The lure of the “quick buck” is an infectious virus and people become intoxicated with fanciful dreaming that they can strike it rich too.

Unbridled greed feeds on vivid visions of the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the radiant rainbow.

As the possibilities of instant wealth become the main topic of numerous conversations, the scary thought develops, that others might beat them to their fortune.

Haste, without a second thought, kicks in.

Formerly cautious and prudent folks, with dollars suddenly spinning in their eyes, madly join the stampede to make their fortune. Or so they think.

Alas, individuals, normally endowed with a good dose of common sense, are transformed by a “sheep mob” mentality and follow the leader in an hysterical and lemming like rush. Little thought is given to the possible dire consequences of their obsession.

Finding those elusive nuggets of gold becomes addictive.

Now, as well as the mob mentality of the sheep-like miners, there are three other character types involved in the Gold Rush Paradigm, that are also typified by animals...

So here are my characterizations describing the participants of the Gold Rush Paradigm.

Senseless Sheep - the Masses who descend on the gold field like a plague of locusts. But unlike locusts, the “sheep” will end up in parched pastures and finally wander away hungry and disillusioned, and, unfortunately, impoverished by the exercise.

Lucky Cats - they are the lucky few, who, like the fortunate felines who represent them, land on their feet and find a fortune in gold, and, for the most part, use their fortune wisely.

Hustling Hares - the Fast-Buckaroos who rip off the unsuspecting miners, either by trickery, or, by downright robbery. Eventually they mostly die an unsavoury death or end up in jail!

Thoughtful Tortoises - the Slow-and-Steady-Merchants, who have realised, that by providing goods and services, required by the miners, they can build a worthwhile high volume business supplying the necessities to the miners. They become friends with their customers and build fruitful relationships.

They, the Thoughtful Tortoises, are the true “exemplars” of the Gold Rush Paradigm.

A great example of this type of merchant was …

“Levi Strauss & Co - Famous for their Jeans”

Levi Strauss was one such “Thoughtful Tortoise” and his famous Jeans were born out of the Californian Gold Rush.

10 stages of the Gold Rush Paradigm

1) Someone finds gold.

2) The word gets out and all of a sudden everyone believes the impossible dream of unbelievable wealth is now suddenly attainable.

3) Masses of people rush off to stake their claim, without researching or learning what's really involved.

4) The exceptions are those that pause and see how they can make money from the greed of the wishful thinkers.

5) The “Fast- Buckaroos” make a lot of money. And they make it fast, by ripping off hapless prospectors by trickery or robbery. Eventually they mostly die an unsavoury death or end up in jail.

6) The “Slow-and-Steady-Merchant” types make their money slowly but steadily, by selling the prospectors the tools and supplies they need. They become friends with their customers and build fruitful relationships. (Know, Like and Trust)

7) The lucky few (Fortunate Felines) find their fortune and may then invest their earning in other more predictable enterprises.

8) The Gold rush generally peters out almost as quickly as it started. The majority of miners (Senseless Sheep) when they run out of money and supplies, fade away to lick their economic wounds.

9) The rapidly developed towns and cities eventually become ghost towns or a dim shadow of their glory days as they are abandoned by the masses.

10) Finally, the Thoughtful Tortoises - those Slow-and-Steady-Merchants, have in the main, prepared and planned for this time and move on to another gold rush or invest their earnings in other sound ventures.

So what can we learn from The Gold Rush Paradigm?

1) A “Gold Rush” Situation brings excessive competitors to an often limited Market.

2) Most “Gold Miners” fail to discover valuable gold deposits.

3) Successful businesses in the gold rush are those that sell supplies to all the miners – a sure and predictable market.


So how do we relate these concepts from the real gold rushes to the modern day virtual or digital ones.

From what I can gather here at beBee, from some of the buzzes I have read, many are swarming here from the LinkedIn hives or “mines.”

We need to keep cool heads, and watch what is happening in the platform we believe may provide us with our next pot of gold. And then be strategic with our efforts.

Are you involved in a real or virtual “Gold Rush” at present?

Where do you see yourself in the character mix above?

Do you have any observations to share?

After 40 odd years in the International Trade and Transport Sector as a Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder, I started “panning for gold” in the Social Media space back in 2009 and have assisted other professionals who have “staked their claim” in “Digital Minefield.” (Note the mixed metaphor in the word Minefield )in their “panning” planning and mining.

Lance Scoular, The Savvy Navigator

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[Image: Gold Minehead and Seven Miners, Gulgong, NSW, Australia: 1871-1875 Wikipedia Commons credited to the State Library of New South Wales, Australia]

Ian Brodie 9/2/2018 · #22

It's an interesting analogy Lance, but one I find troubling.

You paint the Thoughtful Tortoises very positively. Kindly folks selling prospectors the tools they need.

Here's the problem as I see it:

In your scenario, the vast majority of prospectors meet with failure. Only the lucky few fortunate felines have any success.

I'm sure the Thoughtful Tortoises know that. They're thoughtful after all.

So what they're doing is providing essentially useless tools to prospectors they know are doomed to failure. Are they really any better than rip-off merchants selling magic totems they don't believe in to the superstitious to ward off non-existent evil spirits?

For me that paints a rather less positive picture of the tortoises. Surely nice guys wouldn't participate in gold rushes at all?



Great Buzz. I agree 100% with @Lance 🐝 Scoular . I wrote a similiar buzz on the gold rush mentality yet on a different topic. The wealthiest people I have met were the ones who share the service or the tools to those looking for the "Gold".
Here is the buzz I recently shared.

Milos Djukic 3/10/2016 · #20

Great one @Lance Scoular.

Lisa Gallagher 25/7/2016 · #19

In case you missed this wonderful article by @Lance Scoular

+2 +2
Lisa Gallagher 25/7/2016 · #18

#15 Hi @Lance Scoular persistence is key and so true, it does produce results in the end! :))

+2 +2
Lance 🐝 Scoular 24/7/2016 · #17

#4 Thanks @Michael Hillebrand much appreciated.

+1 +1
Lance 🐝 Scoular 24/7/2016 · #16

#8 Beeing such a busy bee @Ken Boddie I would equate you to a fortunate feline in my metaphor :-)

+1 +1
Lance 🐝 Scoular 24/7/2016 · #15

#6 Thanks @Lisa Gallagher much appreciated. One of the attributes of bees is persistence, one that produce results in the end.

+1 +1