Monday, November 1, 2010

Hotizontal Villages

I've been arguing for years that our neighbor is not the person next door. It is the person who shares your interests.

Jesus was right, and it has huge consequences for your business. Maybe the town you live in only has 236 people, including the kid who actually away at army basic training. But you have neighbors all over the planet.

About 20 years ago I was in Switzerland doing a hotel inspection. One of the workers angrily approached the group I was with, yelling in Suisse-Deutsche. No one could understand him, so could not address his concerns. But I understood him. "We just walked through a pile of dust and we're tracking it onto the freshly-laid carpet."
I understood, not because I know German, but because I had worked the construction industry in a past life, so I understood his mindset. He and I lived in the same village. The connections between people are horizontal, stretching across the map, rather than vertically within our individual countries.

Someone in your neighborhood feels a closer bond to a person living 1,462 kilometers away who shares a fascination with Star Trek. They reside far apart, but live in the same trekkie village. Another resident of your community is a Lakers fan and you are a Bulls fan, so you live in different villages. Truck drivers can gather at specific diners and commiserate, rather than futilely trying to strike up conversations with pharmacists down the street when they return home on the weekend.

We no longer have social classes. They've been replaced by Avocation Strata.

So don't try to push those geographically close to buy something they don't want. Find the like-minded people around the world and sell to them. UPS awaits your beckon.

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