How Societal Consciousness Dictates the Market for Any Product or Idea
Using the Conscious Continuum to understand market demand
I am very interested in the intersection of business, technology, and the evolution of consciousness.
Last week I wrote about creator consciousness and the idea that one’s level of consciousness vastly impacts what, why, and how they create. I used an adapted, unified model of Consciousness I’ve been tinkering with called “The Human Consciousness Continuum” to characterize what these the common expressions look like.
This model can be leveraged to understand the why things are the way they are across an inconceivable number of life’s vectors.
Today I wanted to share ideas on how we can view collective consciousness as a proxy to understanding how society adopts and embraces creations. This has implications for the commercial viability, market size, and positioning of any idea.
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A month ago I started to poke around Youtube to understand what content was popular amongst the top up and coming creators. There was a clear pattern that oriented around themes like how to be a millionaire, secrets for six pack abs, or even inflammatory gossip of one person about another, i.e. Liver King teardowns.
What became glaringly evident is that the popularity and market appetite for ideas is more so a reflection of a given population’s level of consciousness than the efficacy of a solution’s ability to create happiness, fulfillment, and purpose. Money, abs, and degrading others are popular because there are a lot of people operating out of the paradigms of self enhancement and victimhood, not because they asymmetrically improve the human experience.
Another recent cultural example of this dynamic would be these A.I. photo apps like Lensa that make it easy to create all kind of enhanced photos of yourself. They can make the average person look like a model or superhero in just a few clicks.
What can the fact that Lensa became the top grossing application in the United States tell us within weeks of launching? Mostly, that we have a large population living from predominant inner worlds of self-enhancement and victimhood. You can get a sense for what these expressions look like below.
Using Consciousness to Understand What Appeals to Our Society
I used muscle testing to calibrate the consciousness of the U.S. Population on the scale I created.
The results indicate 97% of people fall outside of the transpersonal realm identifying predominantly as their thoughts, bodies, and emotions and and over 70% of people are living in a very self-centered state (everything below contribution). Directionally, this make sense to me.
You don’t see Enlightened Causal in the distribution because my estimate is less than .1% of the population is living from the subjective experience of predominantly identifying as consciousness itself.
When you think about adoption of a new product or idea, you start to see how market size is correlated to consciousness. This is the context which drives the appetite for products even within in the same category.
Take the meditation market for example.
This value proposition has a broad appeal to levels of consciousness grounded in the primarily physicalist consciousness paradigms (victimhood, self enhancement, and contribution.)
Then let’s say there was a company focused on loving and kindness meditations and humanitarianism which are themes that emerge when one moves their focus beyond self. Based on our estimated consciousness distribution, there would be far less of a market for this type of application compared to something that helps someone improve themselves.
And then let’s say there was an application focused on helping one achieve non-duality and dissolution of the ego through guided Advaita Vedanta that we could Americanize by calling it self inquiry. In this instance, the market size is even smaller than perhaps those applications focused on helping others.
The idea of becoming no one or self realization would likely not even be understood by the majority of the population. So even though the richness or efficacy available from such practices far outweighs stress reduction, the level of consciousness dictates the viable audience.
In each case, we’re still just talking about meditation.
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This understanding that the predominant expressions of consciousness are the primary forces that predict and guide market penetration can be applied to any product, service or idea.
Many great spiritual teachers recognize this dynamic. Eckhart Tolle who is truly a very enlightened being sells people what they want but gives them what they need. You will find him selling courses that highlight the word manifestation. Manifesting stuff is a concept that appeals to the majority of people living in victimhood and self-enhancement because they think getting something outside themselves will finally get them happiness.
But when you get into the course he just teaches people presence (being) and more enlightened concepts like surrender. The idea of manifesting things is glossed over almost completely. If you pay attention, you will see many great beings aware of this who sell people one thing and give them another.
In my own creation process, this is kind of how I feel about making Youtube thumbnails that highlight overtly expressive faces next to provocative language. It kind of feels cringe. But if you feel genuinely inspired to share your truth to the widest net possible while remaining unattached to the outcomes, you must reorient the book cover to appeal to the predominant consciousness while focusing the content of every page on your most authentic expression. I guess this is just the system that we find ourselves in.
You also just see many seemingly “spiritual” people that are just selling products at the level of consciousness they’re at. This is really true of all personality driven businesses. Generally, people will appeal to populations slightly below them on the consciousness scale which means there is always a market for everything. There was definitely a point in my own journey where I thought of growing spiritually as a way to get stuff like special powers like the ability to manifest“stuff” I wanted like money, status, and relationships. This phase is just part of the natural growth curve on the consciousness continuum. Eventually you realize there are much higher truths and these concepts no longer represent the most compelling focus area.
I find having awareness around societal consciousness dictating markets to be very useful. As an entrepreneur and creator, it helps guide my expectations and walk into projects with eyes wide open. For example, I don’t really expect the audience for a lot of the things I write about to be as big as a person talking about how to grow startups or make money.
This doesn’t really bother me, but it’s helpful if I ever observe the ego creeping in to indulge in the pattern of comparison which definitely happens. And let’s say I did care about creating something mass market or evaluating an investment opportunity. I would be very focused at understanding the language and positioning being applied to serve the broadest target audience. My podcast with Robbie Bent from Othership kind of talked about this.
What’s cool and encouraging about this dynamic is that it means there is room for everyone in the market. Not everything will be a mass-adoption opportunity, but you can start to see the entry points and make an informed decision about which segments you want to serve.
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How the Markets Will Move in The Future
My belief is that the primary motive of consciousness is to realize itself and expand. This means everyone at a certain point in their own experience across lifetimes will develop an interest in self realization and that the population distribution will increasingly move upwards on the evolutionary continuum over time. Currently, we are seeing more interest in evolving consciousness than any moment in our specie’s history. This means that what was once an offering for a small audience will eventually be an offering for a mass audience. We’re already seeing this across many markets. Take non-alcoholic beer for example. This use to be a very small market, but more and more people are recognizing the downsides of alcohol. This is realization and choice is a common expression with the higher levels of consciousness where you no longer feel such a need to escape the moment and develop a greater reverence for the body.
As consciousness shifts up, these types of markets that are aligned will grow. It makes me wonder if any consumer investment firms or startup studios are trying to look at markets and solutions from this vantage point which represents the ultimate macro lens. I’ve heard of Lionheart.VC and Empath ventures, but not many others.
Anyways, this shit is really exciting and it is a fun time to be an entrepreneur. It feels like I can see the map in ways I previously couldn’t.
This broader consciousness shift upwards also has implications for what happens inside of companies too. For example, if we think about how bigger companies try to innovate, it’s usually by starting some skunkworks teams or innovation arm. This is approaching the problem by simply adding capacity to it.
It is my belief that strokes of genius and creativity emerge from higher levels of consciousness. One day many companies will understand this and take a more active role in developing the consciousness and working environments of their employees so great ideas and innovations can emerge more effortlessly. I don’t expect this to happen overnight, but it is where the world is going.
I plan on writing a lot more on the idea of what a Conscious Company of the future will look like. Today “Conscious Capitalism” mostly closely represents an expression of Contribution Consciousness: following sustainable practices, giving back to the world, and prioritizing taking care of your people. This is just a natural evolution before a much more exciting transpersonal expression that will start to become more evident as greater percentages of the population continue to shift up. In this world, the role of the company will not only be to create space for creativity to emerge, but to actually teach people to tap into the greater capacities inside themselves which they may have not been aware of most of their life.
Whether it’s products you are interested in building or the corporate way of the future, leveraging a unified model of consciousness like The Consciousness Continuum as an input to understand how products and ideas will be received is incredibly valuable.
I believe there is so much to be explored in this topic. If you know any investors or entrepreneurs who are viewing the world this way, I’d be very interested to know who they are!
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