In saturated markets with a lot of high social proof players, many people are confused about what game they are actually playing.

Coaches can get easily frustrated when they see people following stupid programs pushed by Instagram celebrities (who got famous by an understanding of how to manipulate social media algorithms and a deep intuitive understanding of signaling behavior) or famous athletes (whose athletic success has everything to do with freakish genetic potential and almost nothing to do with their actual training program).

Musicians can get easily frustrated when the most popular bands in a genre rarely write the “best” songs.

People think that these things should be a meritocracy, and that consumers are looking to find the highest quality goods and services to meet their coaching and music listening needs.

Instead, think about what “problem” a product solves.

In online fitness coaching, the problem that people want solved is something like:
“I want to do the same thing that my Instagram idol does”

Note that it’s not:
“I want to follow the best and most appropriately designed program for my fitness goals, training history and genetic potential.”

Nor is it:
“I want to look and feel my best without sacrificing too many other aspects of my lifestyle that are important to me.”

Nor is it:
“I want to maximize my performance relative to my own potential.”

“I want to do the same thing that my Instagram idol does.”

Or it’s:
“I want to get my ass kicked every day by training and be able to signal to my own followers on Instagram that I am a certain type of athlete.”

If you’re confused about the actual problems that people are trying to solve through their purchases and their behavior, the world can be a very confusing place.

But when you realize that the problems that people are solving through their behavior may not be the problems that you think they should be solving, things make a lot more sense.