Part five in looking at Made to Stick’s Six Principles of Sticky Ideas on how to build cool places…
The fifth principle is Emotion. Why should people even care? Perhaps it may help to first state what tends to trigger people into not caring: Too many statistics, abstract explanations (90% of what’s out there), not enough emphasis on self-interest, and surprisingly, not enough emphasis on self-interest as it relates to group-interest.
Why do people care about cool town beta communities? It’s in the name itself – community, as in a sense of community, “a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together.”
Why would beta communities work? Because you’re establishing that belonging, shared faith and commitment to be together with a common vision of building a physical place to manifest that. No marketing stats, no abstract strategic plans, it just happens, and most importantly, needs to be allowed to just happen. Participants will also invite people who feel they share that sense of community with, such as friends and family*. The ‘magic’ of it all is that they begin to establish a sense of community before the actual physical community is built, in the process of doing so.
*Family that you want to live near that is.