Baby’s got a secret

I have this place that I like to go to every week.  It’s close to home, and we meet up with friends there, have some food, hang out for a few hours.  I’d tell you about it, but I want you to stay away.  I’m afraid if you come, you’ll love it too. And you’ll tell others about it. And they’ll come and then tell all their friends. And soon this place that I love to go to will be full of eastern suburbs wankers folk driving over in their SUVs and ruining it for everyone (apologies to my friends who do come over from the eastern suburbs…I mean the others, not you.)

Now, I don’t pretend to have discovered this place. I was told by a friend and went on their recommendation.  It was so great I got another friend to come along as well. And every week I notice it gets a little bit busier – but in a good buzzy way.  I got talking to MM about this yesterday that I fear in about 12 months it may be unrecognisable, and then about word of mouth and whether it is a power for good or evil. Typically MM gave it some cool perspective.

“Scalability” he said “It’s all about scalability”.  He used the example of a radio show – tell a million people about it and it won’t change the show.  The same music will be played, the same banter will be had.  I think over time it would change the show if it gets very successful. The DJs will get all “celebrity” and appear in “Sydney Confidential” in the Tele, they may even get poached by a bigger commercial station.  Popularity and a force of people interested in the show will change it. But if it remains relatively popular – not wild ‘n’ blind mainstream successful, that radio show should survive intact.

But my little Sunday secret is not the same.  More people will fundamentally change it.  It will get big and shiny, and all the crooked edges will get knocked off. It has NO scalability.  Brendan said last week “Nothing works here, which is why it works.” I want people to stop talking about it. I’m not going to tell random people anymore.  I can even hear myself as I type say “Hmm, keep it general. Don’t mention XXXX – it may give it away”…and not many people read this blog!  So I’m sorry, I’m not going to tell you where or what this is. Word of mouth is killing my little Sunday secret.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Baby’s got a secret

  1. This is a sweet story that fits a lot of resources: people, friends, businesses, all of humanity crowding the Earth’s beaches. For example, I now work for a small agency that is about “perfect” … but we’re growing, and adding people, and with every new face, no matter how nice, the culture is starting to shift. Growth and evolution are natural, I guess.

    The trick is to control the growth. I believe the technical term for uncontrolled growth is “cancer.” Yikes.

    Good luck protecting your spot. Perhaps an anti-word-of-mouth campaign might work. Try starting a rumor that there are rabid dogs in the area.

  2. kelpenhagen

    Hah! Good advice! Rabid dogs…I like that a lot!

    I can relate to your point about working for a small agency. I’ve been working for the same place now for 8 years – was just one office in Sydney, now we have offices in Melbourne, UK and Singapore, and plans for another two countries in the next 12 months. It’s been a major challenge to maintain our culture – sometimes we get it really right, other times we get it REALLY wrong. I’ve moved from being a young player here to a member of the management team. It’s WEIRD! Culture is 100% different from what it was 8 years ago, but i guess the good thing is it’s not worse…just different. In fact, one of the main focusses of the biz has always to develop the culture and shape it for good (not evil…). But good thing is at the moment we are experiencing a “cultural renaissance”…seem to have got the balance of stuff (personalities, clients, projects) just right. But we know this’ll change in a few months again as it keeps evolving. But the good thing is the biz has scalability…

    (but my little sunday hang doesn’t…)

  3. brendan

    funny, went to a similar “place” on Saturday. Looks what you’re secret might be like if word got out, scaled up about 5 times.
    I like ours the way it is.

  4. kelpenhagen

    hmm, curious to hear where you went (but don’t say so here…it may be a clue to where our wonky secret place is… )

    and merci for Friday steak e frittes…was lovely!

  5. Pingback: Things to do: Addison Road Markets « Godzookie Baby

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