Being an analytical learning-addict, I can’t help but distill some lessons from this “Guy Starts Dance Party” video taken last week. I’d really like to hear your thoughts, too. First, let’s watch:
You can’t help but smile. First at the guy, then at the reaction. It’s so fun!
For anyone interested in starting a movement, or hoping others start a movement around your company/mission/music, how can we describe what we see here?
- The leader has to be doing it for his own sake - not trying to start anything.
- He has the guts to look a little ridiculous, but not care. Most are too shy to stand out like that.
- He’s so clearly having fun that others think, “He’s having more fun than me. Maybe I should join in.”
- What he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. Even if you usually don’t, you could do that.
- The turning point is when he gets one follower. Following the leader, and also clearly having fun doing it.
- But maybe they’re just two freaks? Hmm... better not get involved yet. Tempting, though. Wait and watch.
- It’s important that they were very public - seen by everyone. Movements need to be visible.
- Now comes the second follower. It’s almost a crowd. If you were to join in now, you wouldn’t be a freak. Hmm... maybe?
- The tipping point is the next two people that jump in. Now it’s a crowd!
- Three more jump in immediately. Momentum! It’s a movement! No reason not to. Let’s go!
- Every adventurous person in the crowd jumps in.
- Finally, every non-adventurous person in the crowd jumps in, because they’d be ridiculed if they don’t.
So if you wanted to make a movement, what lessons would you take from this?
- If you want to be a starter, have the guts to stand out. Make your actions easy to imitate. Fun to follow. Attract attention. Show everyone what you’re doing.
- If you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to follow him/her. You’ll also stand out, but you’re serving one of the most important roles in making this a movement. Show everyone how to follow.
- Found something cool that only a few freaks are doing? Get some friends and say, “Let’s go!” Jump in.
- (... what else? ...)
Doing something that needs followers? (In this case, the music.) Help fan the flames of this process:
- Shine a spotlight on the first fan that loves you. Help them be a starter. Show what they’re doing, and how happy they are.
- Help your second fan join together with the first, instead of also dancing alone.
- Make sure they do almost exactly the same thing, so it’s easy for others to also see how to join.
- Give a few early adopters the courage to jump in together with the first. Make sure they stick together as a group.
- Now it’s not about you, it’s about them. Publicize the group, not yourself. Make it fun to join.
- Make sure all late-adopters can see what fun the early adopters are having.
- (... what else? ...)