In modern marketing, the idea that a tiny cadre of connected people triggers trends is enormously seductive. Loosely, this is referred to as the Influentials theory, and while it has been a marketing touchstone for 50 years, it has recently reentered the mainstream imagination via thousands of marketing studies and a host of best-selling books. Yet, according to Duncan Watts, Influentials have no such effect. Indeed, they have no special role in trends at all. And this is not, he argues, mere academic whimsy. Watts believes this is because a trend's success depends not on the person who starts it, but on how susceptible the society is overall to the trend -- not how persuasive the early adopter is, but whether everyone else is easily persuaded. And in fact, when Watts tweaked his model to increase everyone's odds of being infected, the number of trends skyrocketed.