“Most trends are destined for a quick death. None more so than snowclones, popular rhetorical clichés that are customizable for use across multiple settings. Examples include any variant of “X is the new Y”, “the mother of all X”, and possibly the most belabored trope of them all, “Millennials are killing X”. At its peak in 2017, it seemed nothing escaped the murderous clutches of avocado toast-eating 20- and 30-somethings. How does a snowclone die? When it becomes so overused that it devolves into a punchline for how out of touch pundits are, or simply loses all meaning and novelty it once had.
In the tech industry, the snowclone ‘X is the Uber of Y’ reached its zenith in 2015, but quickly fell out of favor when investors and journalists implored startups to drop the comparison and let the originality of their ideas stand on their own. That the company was plagued by a deluge of legal and ethical scandals didn’t help, either.
But against all odds, one particular snowclone keeps extending its use-by date: “How digital has changed X”, where ‘X’ is every imaginable industry and sector. According to Google Trends, interest in digital transformation has been growing year on year. A number of factors could explain its longevity (not least because the word ‘digital’ is so broad that it’s often used interchangeably with any form of technology), but ultimately it’s down to the fact that digital has changed, and continues to change, everything.”