The phrase tipping point refers to the point in time when an idea spreads on its own, organically. It is the point where attitudes change and the general population starts to move in a new direction. A little over a year ago Garmin introduced opencaching.com. Since that time Garmin has offered promotions and incentives to get geocachers to use their site. Is it working?
According to FirenIce the opencaching site has about 20,000+ geocaches. I haven’t confirmed this with Garmin but I’m not worried about the accuracy for now, you’ll see why shortly. If we assume that each cacher on opencaching.com has placed 2 caches that works out to about 10,000 users. That might be a bit low so let’s say it’s 20,000 users. Groundspeak claims that their site geocaching.com has about 5 million users.
According to a recent study the tipping point for a new idea is adoption by 10% of a given population. I’m not scientist but that number feels about right. Roughly 1 in 10. So if we are to accept Groundspeak’s numbers that means that 500,000 geocachers would need to adopt a new idea before it spreads on its own within the caching community.
Using the assumed figures I’ve listed above it would appear that opencaching.com is about 480,000 users away from tipping. The questions now are: will it take 500,000 users in order to make opencaching.com tip and what kind of growth rate does Garmin need before they lose interest in the project?