Playing in the Sandbox P.2: Building a Sandbox

15 10 2007

Your sold. You want to try something different. You’ve drank the cool-aid.

Now what?

Go build yourself some sandboxes.

In the computer development world a sandbox is defined as:

“A protected, limited environment where applications (e.g. Java programs downloaded from the Internet) are allowed to “play” without risking damage to the rest of the system. “

What better place to have a little fun and experiment than a sandbox?

Real world sandboxes come in the form of communities. Although communities aren’t as risk proof as development sandboxes they serve the same purpose.

Here’s a five step guide to building a sandbox

1. Identify sub-groups within your larger consumer base:

Go beyond demographic information. Communities are self-organizing and they are already out there. There are communities for tuning Hondas, swapping sneakers, extreme ironing, and collecting vintage high-top Converse shoes.

2. Find out where they ‘live’:

Where do the members of these communities hangout? Forums, social networks, blogs, or maybe even a popular street corner. Before you can talk to them you need to find them.

3. Introduce yourself:

Be authentic. Introduce yourself and don’t try to be something your not. Don’t ever, ever lie about what you are representing.

4. Start a conversation:

Talk to them. Respect their opinions. Let them have a voice and be heard.

5. Build something with them:

You now have a sandbox, so experiment, but never forget that experimentation is a partnership. You are trying to be a better friend. Never stop listening.

Now go and have some fun, but play nice, and remember just like in a real sandbox if you break the rules you will be exiled.




One response

12 11 2007

Hmmm, sounds like a paradigm đŸ™‚ Will have to consider how best to utilize it. Thanks!

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