A famous Japanese lyricist and producer, Yasushi Akimoto (秋元康 in jp wiki),who has produced or at least heavily involved in producing the super manzai duo, Tunnels (とんねるず in jp wiki), and more recenly the popular actress, Nanako Matsushima (松島奈々子), once told about the tip of knowing, beforehand, if a rookie talent becomes the star.
The story I originally heard at the video lecture a year or so ago from Hosei Business school.
According to Akimoto, it is Domino effects. That has to start with the talent manager. If the talent manager is convinced that the rookie is going to be a star, then she or he can get excited about introducing that rookie to the magazine editor, the TV program producer, and so on and so forth and eventually going gold. On the other hand, if the talent manger is not really convinced enough from the beginning, the game is already over. “No exception,” told Akimoto.
In a somewhat related vein, Joshua of del.icio.us was talking about building evangelism at the future of Web Apps conference*. The user no.1 has to find the system useful (that was Joshua himself). There is not gonna be user no.2, if the user no. 1 gives up and goes away. So Joshua made the system at least useful for him to use when he built it.
You see? The key person is you or more near you.
* of 2005, in London, for which the archive seems to have gone from the site, but I have the MP3 with me so let me know if you’d need it.