Cool towns: Concreteness – do you understand and remember it?
Continuing a review of Made to Stick’s Six Principles of Sticky Ideas on how to build cool places…
The third principle is Concreteness. That is, not abstract, but in terms that relate to our five senses. This is where analogies, vignettes, proverbs and first-hand experiences. YouTube became a billion dollar company within a year because both its business model (upload and watch videos for free) and content (first-hand experiences) were refreshingly concrete.
How does one describe a benchmark beta community process and cool town vision in a concrete way?…
It’s like allowing the most creative people of Greenwich Village to co-design their own block in Venice.*
That could look something like a piazza filled with outdoor diners, surrounded by local, independent, pubs where everybody knows your name, cafes serving organic brick-oven pizza with fresh mozzarella, and shabby chic coffeehouses with wi-fi, couches and the best chai tea in town… above that would be light-filled offices with large windowed doors that provide a panoramic view, hardwood floors, and an open floor plan bustling with entrepreneurs and the employees of fast-growing businesses… above that would be lofts with expansive windows, high ceilings, and configurable walls to transform it between work and live mode… and above that would be the green roof patio where residents have spontaneous BBQs and holiday parties.
*Greenwich Village is known as one of the most creative neighborhoods in the U.S.; Venice has a reputation for its beautiful urban fabric; and co-design is fast becoming an economy standard.
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