People like us keep promises

You! Yes you. This post might not be for you.

For your idea or your product to change the culture, Seth Godin says it needs to be marketed as "People like us do things like this." It's not for a mass market. It's not for everyone. It's for a specific group of people - and the story that comes with the product makes that clear. The product says, "This isn't for a mass market. This isn't for everyone. This is for a specific group of people. Is that you?"

It's seductive. If it resonates, if it strikes a chord and it hints at something you're craving, it makes you feel special for having that feeling.

I recently joined a Job Search Council through the community of Never Search Alone. My understanding so far is that I'll join a small group of about 10 people supporting each other in their job search.

I was struck by how intensely the signup forms drilled the importance of the *commitment.*

Ostensibly, this helps ensure the whole process runs smoothly - these groups are volunteer-run and if people flaked, they wouldn't work.

But they really...


...hammer this home:

Notice: they know. They anticipate the question:

Their answer:

They are leveraging the power of "People like us do things like this." They literally say, "This might not be for you." I think commitment in our online interactions feels so rare that it's alluring to find somewhere this is honored. "Maybe, but I'm not yet ready..." "No, on second thought I'd rather NOT do this..." these feel like fucking CHALLENGES. FUCK YOU I'm not ready. I can make this goddamn commitment.

The job search is such a grueling psychological ordeal. It's so hard to make and keep promises to myself. "I'll finish my resume today!" I say. "I'll send out 10 applications tomorrow!" So it's a resonant place for Never Search Alone to begin: by galvanizing the importance of keeping this commitment to the search council, they set the stage for the self-integrity that's going to be necessary to send this process home.

I don't make stuff for everyone. No one can. If it's for you, it really is for you.