Sunday, September 2, 2012

‘Culturematic’ by Grant McCracken


"Starbucks embarked on the creation of what it calls a 'third space,' a place between home and work. In effect, it was opening up the possibility that people might entertain private behaviours in public spaces, that they might relax and work at a café without being self-conscious. Previously, people who were sitting around in public were seen to be loitering. Starbucks was trying to refashion the rules of public life.'

"This is a Culturematic. In the early days, no one could be sure what was going to happen. What if 'undesirables' moved in and took over? What if paying customers were driven out? What if Starbucks damaged its brand? The third-space notion was a risky proposition. Starbucks knew it wanted a third space, but not whether this idea would work, how it would work, or what it would look like. The company would know it only when it got there.'

"Many are called to the status of a Culturematic, but few are chosen. The world is filled with things that look Culturematic-ish. As the book proceeds, I will distinguish between half-matics, full-matics, and no-matics at all."

(p. 53, 'Culturematic' by Grant McCracken - Landmark)

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