Why isn't SuperMemo more popular?

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List here your ideas about why it is hard to make SuperMemo more popular:


  • Repetitions can be painful
  • SuperMemo does not provide instant gratification
  • SuperMemo is not viral
  • SuperMemo is like exercise
  • SuperMemo requires a specific personality
  • SuperMemo does not engage like games or movies (cf. Olive Green)
  • Succeeding is not easy (beyond simple applications)
  • Success stories do not mention SuperMemo (Einstein did not use it)
  • SuperMemo is thought of as a cramming tool
  • SuperMemo is not advertised
  • SuperMemo is not understood or is misunderstood
  • Good recall of old knowledge makes one more conservative
  • Self-grading is difficult for many
  • It is easy to stop SuperMemo, it is hard to resume repetitions
  • Outstanding 0+0 is intimidating
  • There is a lack of trust in "revolutionary technology" (esp. if it is called "super")
  • Insufficient support for non-English versions
  • Users have a poor grasp of SuperMemo software and techniques (e.g. incremental reading)
  • Many users of SuperMemo use it against the principles and the art of SuperMemo
  • SuperMemo is a form of paradigm shift for many learners. Starting up without a tutor is hard
  • Self-reliance is needed to succeed with SuperMemo
  • Many users fail for their lack of knowledge formulation skills
  • Integration of reading is vital for the fun of learning but incremental reading is too complex
  • SuperMemo for Windows is too complex
  • Only older or simpler versions of SuperMemo are free
  • SuperMemo is not open source
  • To use SuperMemo, you need an ability to focus on a goal
  • Laziness precludes SuperMemo
  • Many people lack sufficient motivation for learning or even for above average accomplishments
  • Other interests compete with SuperMemo
  • Success in learning inhibits experimentation with new technologies (like SuperMemo)
  • Most people do not care about long-term learning and/or "personal" learning. They prefer to cram as much as possible to pass an exam, earn a degree and then forget about learning at all. Learning is viewed as a necessary evil to succeed in life, not as something that makes you a better person (well, hopefully). And SuperMemo implies a daily effort for life! Only a selected portion of people will find this attractive.
  • Counterintuitive user interface is hard. Even for experienced computer users. This is why I don't recommend SuperMemo to others
  • Confusing and non-standard interface makes it very hard for new users to figure out how to use the application, and makes it difficult to know if the use-methods one develops are the intended use patterns.
  • Lack of task-oriented documentation.
  • People are suspicious of software that claims to make them smarter, perhaps to subconsciously defend their self-esteem and traditional study habits.
  • Imports to incremental reading are limited (e.g. poor PDF support, students cannot import their textbooks, etc.)
  • Many people prefer learning in a group rather than solo (social interaction is missing)
  • Preference for e-readers, tablets, software, and methods which facilitate extraction and organization of quotes and notes without necessarily memorising everything, and without randomly jumping from topic to topic or revisiting highlights, unless by the reader's choice.

See also