How to make a movement: Popcorn recipes

Maybe it’s been a while since the last time you made popcorns, but do you remember how you made them?
You put the popcorn’s bag in the microwave for several minutes (or maybe you used a pan). It takes at least two thirds of the time until they get into the right temperature. One corn pops, then another one, and it keeps increasing the speed until there’s a party going on there.
Behind this there are some important lessons, so let me give you some clear points of the process of making popcorns:

  • Getting to the right temperature is critical and takes time.
  • There’s always one single corn that pops before the rest.
  • The next corn takes time to pop, but once there, the rest follow.
  • Every time the speed increases until near the end every corn pops.
  • Important: there are always some corns that decide to rebel against and don’t pop.

I think popcorns are pretty similar to movements.
So if you’re doing something that needs followers, this is how you do it:

  1. Getting to the right temperature: A leader must first stand alone, in public, showing her potential followers that it’s safe the thing she’s doing. And that takes work of preparation and smoothing the way for others.
  2. First corn pops. There’s always one first follower who discover what the leader is doing. She sees what’s going on and decides to join.
  3. A few more corns pop. It takes a while but the span of time between corns that pop gets shorter and shorter.
  4. Party’s up. Now we go mainstream, everybody joins. There’s the right temperature and it’s safe to be in the movement.
  5. Saboteurs. There are always some corns that don’t pop. Those are the rebels and saboteurs of a movement. However, once the movement has the right temperature and traction, no saboteur can stop it.


Image by Francis Trudeau