Fad is a wave in the ocean, while a trend is the tide

A fad gets a lot of hype, and a trend gets very little. Like a wave, a fad is very visible, but it goes up and down in a big hurry. Like the tide, a trend is almost invisible, but it’s very powerful over the long term. A fad is a short-term phenomenon that might be profitable, but a fad doesn’t last long enough to do a company much good.

Company often tends to gear up as if a fad were a trend. As a result, the company is often stuck with a lot of staff, expensive manufacturing facilities, and distribution networks. When the fad disappears, a company often goes into a deep financial shock. What happened to Atari is typical in this respect.

A fashion is a fad that repeats itself.

— Al Ries