The Influence Curve

Many men want the influence of being followed by a great mass of people without understanding the costs to gaining that influence, not just from a fame standpoint, where you lose your privacy, but also an adversarial standpoint, where your influence starts to encroach on the interests of powerful groups. I have learned firsthand that past a certain point of influence, you will suffer exceptionally damaging attacks that don’t offer a proportional increase in influence. The “curve of influence” dictates that you should stop attempting to increase your influence past a certain point.

Every day, a man somewhere begins a journey at gaining influence. He uses his existing talent and experience to produce articles, videos, podcasts, or tweets. The early stages will be rough as his work will not be readily rewarded with influence, but if he persists, he will eventually cross a threshold where his influence rises rapidly and his following becomes dedicated. Soon, his influence begins stepping on the toes of other people, especially if he’s a dissident that is not controlled by the mainstream establishment. He will then be attacked.

The creator is happy with attacks, because it causes his influence to rise, earns him more money, and gives him the recognition that is natural for the ego to crave, but the attacks are likely to increase in intensity to the point where he now has to dedicate more time at defending against them instead of producing the work that gained him influence in the first place. Soon, his influence starts going down as his output becomes entirely framed by his enemies and no longer provides value to his core audience.

Here is a graphical representation of how this looks:

The sweet spot is the point where the creator has high influence but sustains a minimum exposure to attacks. If he seeks higher levels of influence, he must then engage with the enemy. This increases his influence further, but only by a small degree. He continues until hitting peak influence, which is no more than 20% higher than the influence he had at the sweet spot, but this comes at a heavy price of being attacked more regularly. The creator’s existence now consists mostly of responding to the attacks instead of producing work. This causes him to lose influence.

My creator career fits this curve. There are three notable attacks I’ve sustained: (1) being placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center misogynist list in 2012, (2) getting attacked by Canadian mayors in 2015, and (3) having to shut down my meetups due to worldwide outrage in 2016.

I approached the sweet spot with the SPLC denouncement, surpassing it three years later during Canada. The meetup outrage was my moment of peak influence. Every man has a limit to the influence he can gain, and by continuing on the path I was on, my influence would actually decline. So I ignored my ego’s call for more influence. Otherwise, there is a fair chance I’d be dead right now, because my ego would have convinced me that I’m not truly influential unless people are trying to kill me. That did not seem like a productive outcome.

The curve doesn’t account for great personal costs in seeking influence. Once the attacks against you are ramped up, you become less able to produce the work that you love and instead become more paranoid and jaded. The moment you need to hire bodyguards to ensure your personal safety, or when you have to study operational security tactics written by former CIA agents, is when you know you’re close to your peak influence.

The solution is not to pass the sweet spot. This means you must purposefully take actions that limit your influence by using enemy attacks as an indicator of where you stand. If attacks against you are increasing, you are proceeding on the curve. If the attacks against you are stable or decreasing, you are not moving on the curve. I have moved leftward on the curve since the meetup outrage by not holding events, not trolling on hot-button issues, reducing my profile on social media, and not actively trying to produce viral content. Taking these measures is quite hard for my ego to accept, because I know that if I do an event tomorrow, there will be spectacular riots that will shoot my name to the top of the news headlines. It’s imploring me to go through the entirety of the curve, but I understand that listening to it will prevent me from creating the work I like in the first place.

I guarantee you that not a single creator will follow my suggestion and purposefully limit their influence. Getting attacked by the enemy is extremely validating as you begin to judge your self-worth based on how often people come after you, but within that lies the paradox that your influence will actually decline as you become more of an entertainer than a thought-leader. Even though I understand this, a part of me still craves that moment of peak influence and the intoxicating effect of when the eyes of the whole world are upon me. Time will tell if I can avoid that temptation.

This article was originally published on Roosh V.

Read More: How To Influence People In The Modern Era 

40 thoughts on “The Influence Curve”

  1. Great lesson you gleaned from personal experience. Sometimes the way to grow is by maintaining a subtler presence that will remain just below the visible limit.

      1. I can provide some small ideas, but can’t speak for Roosh on this.
        First, read up on 4th Generation Warfare and understand how it can be applied outside of combat situations. The focus is on an amorphous ideology, not a leader or set of leaders – this is a harder thing to attack, and it allows for unconnected groups to work toward a unified goal.
        Second, learn the basics of cyber security. Encrypting an encrypted message, in particular, can come in handy (for a simple example, if you were to shift every word using the characters in “Kratom” before sending them in an encrypted email, and the recipient knows the secret word but the malicious entity does not, it is harder to intercept and decipher).
        Third, no major movements and no major get-togethers. The RoK meetups were close to a good idea because they were decentralized, but they were coordinated from a central and open channel. This made it easy to identify where, when, and how these meetings would be held and provided a figurehead (Roosh).
        Fourth, operational security is like all security – it’s weakest point is the people who use it. If you get drunk and blab your computer passwords, anyone in earshot can crack your computer.

        1. Actually, I came up with a story from which ideas can be drawn:
          Consider the story of Gideon. His army was vastly outnumbered and out-armed by their enemies, so they sneaked up on the enemy camp in the dead of night. They broke jars containing their torches (which hid the light until they were right up on the camp), blasted their trumpets, and shouted warcries. This panicked the enemy army, who thought a massive force was descending on them, and in their panic they slaughtered each other.

        2. To prove a point, my comment below is encrypted with a Vigenere cipher using the key “KRATOM”. It’s highly crackable, but combined with other encryptions in a stack it can be difficult to work out:

          Kttnoxvp, I voyo lp pwfr r smcdi wrha irzca wpors voz lv dkoix:
          Toggunvr mvq ckokm ap Xiwsax. Yil odwp wtg hkjtem aeknnanoiew ozn
          fum-odwvd um frvik szodixg, ey khxm exvadsp eg og hto vnxak mrmi wz dye
          wsmn ff gwsrk. Task liods vkis vczdrigwzq khxwd dfrvvqc (nhbqt rzd mvq
          vzgah gxkie htop wxfq bzgah gz fn mvq mrmi), pxkjtxr frvik hdedpxhe, ked
          lvaekew kmbtrbse. Dyil dmxzcdsp dye xbqwp akak, gyo mvaexhm o ykjsbjq
          pfrvs ikj dxgooedbbs ye tasy, ked bb frvik dmxzc mvqi jltisrkeksp orca

  2. It’s an interesting point worth making, and it ties in well with what we’re seeing in the Alt-Right. The rise of Trump correlates with the rise in the influence of the Alt-Right, and particularly certain members of the Alt-Right. As the Alt-Right has become more popular (thanks, Hillary and company), certain prominent figures have gained increased influence and been the target of an increasing number of increasingly potent attacks.
    What does this mean for a movement? More “little leaders” with a degree of influence will stay on the exponential side of the curve, where the ratio of influence to potency of attacks is more favorable. This is a decentralized approach that largely restricts individual figureheads from being attacked or used for propaganda purposes. If, say, Richard Spencer had influence over only a hundred people, would he be the face of “Neo-Nazi fascists” that he is today?
    Smaller groups are more mobile and are harder to see on the metaphorical radar. This is how the KGB cells have long operated, and who can say that it’s not been effective in spreading Socialism?

    1. However, I think that at some point, the alt-right will have to centralize leadership to be able to overtake normies-world.

      1. A merger is possible when the enemy is broken. Groups driven by common ideas, perhaps linked to one another in very small ways (call-chaining, that sort of idea) can easily merge once there is room to merge without being attacked on all sides.
        Think Blitzkrieg. The allies would form lines and try to take strategic areas, while the Germans seemed to move without particular purpose or direction. When a weak point was exposed, the Germans would collapse on it, capture it, and spread out from there. The same basic principle applies to ideological warfare.

  3. These are the types of articles that bring me back to ROK!!! Outstanding in every way Roosh. This article actually hits very close to home with me, and on a Sunday evening yet – while I’m making dinner…
    I’ve always been one to maintain a low-key approach, especially as it pertains to business, however, life can become complicated all on it’s own and I’ve had to endure attacks against my business over the years, with the most recent ending in a favorable resolution in March of this year.
    This particular statement really resonates with me… “The attacks are likely to increase in intensity to the point where he now has to dedicate more time at defending against them instead of producing the work that gained him influence in the first place.” My first encounter with this came in 2013; an online smear campaign against my construction business from one of my competitors. When you reach this point, it may be time for some serious self-reflection and you may need to ask yourself: “Am I still offering my audience something of value?” If so, then you keep moving forward with steadfast resolve.
    The one thing that I’ve learned over the years is this: You absolutely can’t go it alone… If you already have a team in place, you may need to reevaluate. If you don’t, it may be time to assemble a team. For me, it resulted in hiring the best law firm I could afford, we launched a very aggressive attack, and since then, I’ve been able to sleep very well at night.
    I’ve been fortunate to have weathered some serious storms, but it took a combination of flexibility, creative thinking and killer instinct. I’m at the point in my life now where, short of a family member in need of emergency attention, very little will shake me… Character Assassinations, Lawsuits, IRS Audits – bring it on. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of facing adversity and having the ability to run it over like a fucking freight train.

  4. I like to think about the positive possibilities. Ultimately, what we are propagating here is not a war on women, but a return to the natural order of things. Ballads, popular in the late 70’s until the early 90’s, are a tranquil remembrance of what things can be when men and women both pull the yoke in the same direction. Some might say this is not very Vaderlike, but I’m posting it anyway, because it actually is, if you understand what Padme was supposed to represent.

  5. All influential people have enemies. Look at how Trump’s celebrity friends turned on him once he started making comments about immigration. Oprah was one of them, when he ran as a Reform party candidate he nearly chose her as a running mate. Honestly if he ran back in 2000 he would have been just like Ross Perot and would have given us a term of Al Gore instead of Bush. Trump had made no secret of his dislike of Bush.

  6. I don’t blame you for cutting back, it gets old having a target painted on your backside.

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  7. You demonstrated a year ago that free speech isn’t free.
    Certainly seems to be true in Charlottesville.

  8. Things are changing. The forces that attack you in the past aren’t a given in the future. Your efforts are a push in a direction that many others also find themselves inspired to give force to. The election of Trump was a massive push, a big ‘heave-ho’ and the real intent was the intensely strong desire of a significantly large portion of the populace to ‘heave-ho’ and excise and throw out the corrupt establishment. Trump’s call for swamp draining were what the voice of the people affirmed when given the options at the voting booth. The cruisade to plunge and drain the swamp sewage must continue and the rallying cries pre election must commence with double the volume now. No one is purging the right. That’s the gift of Trump. The executive branch isn’t hell bent on persecuting and purging the renaissance right. There’s a stay of boxcars which would be the case if the leftist globalist puppets had siezed the executive office last November. We would be in firefights now if Hitlery were in office. We would be visited at midnight with knocks on the door and the media gala would chime on with the same brain dead entertainment and blackout of critical info.
    The point is the climate and the bodypolitik are in flux and always changing, never constant. We see clear as glass how the democraic party machine tries to smear and defame a big alt right gathering. The same tricks are at play like the meetup outrage of 2015, but the transparency of the workings of the gangs of elites has grown. We see them spotlighted naked. The MSM too is unpalatabne, clearly toxic. Therefore the attention and will of the people is stronger and more focused on the course for restoration, tradition, culture and prosperity.

  9. Keep pressing back and expand! Your influence is spreading. Getting lots of questions about my T-shirt!

  10. Good points all. Ask Dinesh D’Souza about sticking your neck out.
    Having published widely when I was younger, I now value — nay, cherish — my anonymity and insignificance.

  11. The novelty of riches and fame soon wears thin, as any child who has had a new toy can tell you. Without real purpose, our hunger and dissatisfaction grow worse than before. For unhappy people, money is a means of self-destruction. They use it to hurt others, or gamble it away on “wine, women and song” in a frantic attempt to ease the pain of externally reactive living. Having lost the joy of meeting each moment calmly, patiently, graciously, confidently, they seek the substitute reward called pleasure.

  12. This ties in well with the newer article. Being called a racist because you are a white that exists has lost it’s effectiveness. The SJW’s are who appear out of touch anymore.

  13. Roosh are you playing this like a game?
    Do you ever try to strategically increase your influence?
    For example, you must know that when the successor to bang is released there will be backlash. Would you double down, and put out a ton of viral content and announce meet ups around the same time to bait a massive reaction and try to stay in the headlines for weeks?
    Obviously we wouldn’t be able to attend these meet ups, but would on the other hand be able to showcase the left’s hypocritical reaction, while at the same time push your ‘influence’ sky high.
    I assume you use analytics for your website, I also assume during the last MSM fiasco you gained a ton of subscribers and views.
    Men ARE turning around and taking note of the cancerous society they live in.
    Don’t give up hope Roosh

    1. These are questions I’ll have to consider. I am under the radar at the moment. Doing events are usually the big trigger to being put in the limelight.

  14. My thesis is this…current conditions ensure that our influence will grow. Its a comforting assumption, but of course, its based on the fact that the situation sucks so badly for men that all men will eventually adopt the red-pill/neomasculine persuasion sooner or later. That said, our issue isn’t whether or not men will come to our side, they will, rather, how quickly this will happen. I still think too many men are asleep, but, thanks to feminism’s open hostility to all men its becoming really difficult to stay asleep.
    Its happening, just be patient.

  15. Actually, when I read this, I decided to take action to limit my participation beyond the Sweet Spot. A lot of us, doing this over time, will wear down our opponents, without triggering the reaction.
    Of course, that depends on us having the wisdom to understand that sticking our necks out is NOT the best action – beyond that point, at least. It’s hard to damp down the ego, though.

  16. It’s obvious the influence curve is playing out with Trump. This curve also played out with Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona. He always polled favorably until the DOJ started going after him and left-wing, pro-illegal immigration groups, starting gaining their own influence.
    It didn’t help that his competitor, Paul Pensone’s campaign was funded by the likes of George Soros.

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