Thugs that build communities

Last Thursday night I was lucky enough to nab a couple of free tickets to a concert at Vector Arena. Whilst I had a friend due to join me, she was delayed, so I found myself venturing solo amongst a crowd of 3000 screaming, semi alcoholic fans. I went back stage for a while and hung out with the crew, and took some not-so-impressive crowd shots with my two year old cellular device.

The group I went to see was called Bone Thugs n Harmony, one of the most prominent hip hop/rap groups of the 90s. This brought with it an interesting crowd of various cultures and backgrounds; naturally mostly those who are actually into this style of music. I engaged in a fair amount of people watching. And I had a good time doing it.

I sat in the bleachers observing the heaving crowd. As someone who used to run reasonably sized events, I had a moment of clarity. It occurred to me that, truth be told, the sound quality, the vocals, the experience would probably be a whole lot better if they just played a CD and hung around on stage jumping up and down miming the words. Bad sound quality annoys me, and I can’t actually say that the quality at this arena was actually bad at all - but I know it could have been better if it was just. Some super important mid-range synths just couldn’t be heard.

This led me to think about the difference between listening to a CD in a large venue, versus a CD in my bedroom, and a whole array of random combinations of situations that I could be engaged in. That’s when another moment of clarity smashed me in the face. I realised that if I was in a bedroom, with the whole troop of these five international superstars, while they performed their songs for me live, it wouldn’t actually be very fun at all.

What’s the problem with the aforementioned scenario? Well, put simply, I’d be alone. No man is an island right? It dawned on me that even if i was with a group of friends in a small room, it still wouldn’t necessarily be all that fun. I realised in that moment that a key part of why people come out to these events is simply because a massive amount of other people is going to the event. People want to celebrate with people. People want to connect with people. It would be more fun to dance with 3000 people to a CD than alone with the real performers.

And this is what I understand about the BizDojo, and in fact about any vibrant, curated co-working space. There is this idea that is to be able to get out of home, to work in a high-efficacy space, connected to hubs of knowledge. But it is in fact the community that makes it thrive. The connections. The collaborations. The exchange of knowledge, of ideas, of beers on a friday. These are the things that form the glue in a community. I’m curious if people out there would rather make a 6 digit salary while working completely alone for majority of their waking week, rather than making 5 digits while constantly having fun, engaging authentically with people, and growing every day.

So ask yourself…are you the kind of person that doesn’t like to leave the bedroom? Because if not, and you’re sitting there struggling to make your solo magic happen, there’s a community of people over here that will help you pump up the volume.

Gil is the Community and Communications Coordinator of the BizDojo Auckland