Cool towns: Simplicity – the core message
As introduced in the last entry, this week we’ll be communicating how to build cool places based on Made to Stick’s Six Principles of Sticky Ideas.
The first principle is Simplicity. This is the core idea and the most difficult of the six principles to achieve. In fact, this one principle is considered Step One: The Answer, while the other five are considered Step Two: Telling Others.
So what is the core idea of building cool places? That is indeed simple to answer. The beta community. The beta community is a group of future tenants that co-design and co-develop their own building or neighborhood. Everything centers around this single entity. Think Linux, YouTube and Wikipedia applied to real estate. ‘Have it your way’. ‘Purely You.’ Who better to make decisions on what a building or neighborhood should have and look like than the people ultimately investing in it – its tenants. In fact, it’s such a standard means of business in other industries that there are multiple terms for it.
But what about a focus on the creative class and ? You will find those are common traits and values among those naturally motivated to participate in a beta community.
100 of the most creative people in Memphis (image) got together a few years ago to establish a manifesto for a cool city. It had the makings of a beta community, the most potential of any group yet formed, but dispersed before it could become so and thus nothing was built. So close! It was missing an implementation plan, and that’s what the beta community provides. The good news is that it’s not too late to establish as one.
How exciting for Memphis that such a large group took it upon themselves to figure out how they wanted their neighborhood to look & feel.
Could you provide more information on the implementation part of a beta community?
Just one initial question: Without the groundswell from a group of future tenants right off the bat, do you think implementation can be driven from a small group of advocates? From a developer?