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May 25, 2007

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My new book is starting to take shape, scheduled for release March 2008.  So now comes the hard part - titling it. The book deals with why place is the central factor in the global economy, how it effects our wealth and happiness, and how to think strategically - and pick! - the right place for you. We came up with a list of titles, but two lead the list and my editor says the publishing team is split down the middle on them:

  • The Wealth of Place
  • Who's Your City

These would go with a subtitle like: "Why Place Matters to the Global Economy, Happiness, and Everyday Life." Though if we go with Wealth of Place, "location" would substitute for "place" in the subtitle.

Others we've tossed around include:

  • Where
  • Location Factor
  • Why Place Matters
  • Geography is Destiny
  • What's Your LQ (Location Quotient)

All of us would very much appreciate your thoughts and ideas. Feel free to suggest other titles as well, and let us know the ones you love, hate, or are indifferent about -  and their pros and cons. 


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» Title for A New Book from 800-CEO-READ Blog
Richard Florida of Rise of the Creative Class and Flight of the Creative Class is looking for some help on the title for his next book. Some of the ideas include: The Wealth of Place Who's Your City? Where... [Read More]


Harold Jarche

Why not stick with your original theme? How about "The Choice of the Creative Class"?

Hap Allen

“On Location: How the Power of Place Affects the Global Economy and Personal Wealth & Happiness”

Michael Wells

Richard Florida is a big name author and a strong brand. Two big books titled "X of the Creative Class", sort of a franchise. I think they moved you from an academic economist to a sort of urban planning guru. Changing the title formula moves you to a new arena.

As a marketing question, how do you want to be positioned, and what audiences do you want to reach? "Wealth of Place" plays on Adam Smith and marks it as an economics book, more serious and still sort of academic. "Who's Your City" marks it as a popular book and plays on "who's your daddy?", slang from the past couple of decades.

There are a lot of fans out there that will buy it because they liked the first book(s), regardless of title. So what's the next audience you want, do you want it used as a college text, etc? Or are you wanting to hit the new creative class themselves?

I like "Who's Your City?" myself. You might check with some creative class 30-somethings, see if it's still hip phrasing. Another thought is how does this fit with the consulting business, are planners, mayors, etc. going to respond well to it?


I'm a 60-something, and I like "Who's Your City?" Maybe that's because I never really grew up, and hang with a bunch of 30-somethings.

Besides, others have already played off Adam Smith. Think Robert Reich with "The Work of Nations."

Charles Rostkowski

I'm another 60's something who likes "Who's Your City" (That may not be good because we're not the demographic you may be after!!!) That title makes the city a person and that's an entirely different way of looking at place. Making it "someone" you'd want to get to know. And emphasizing how important choice of place has become.

Rob Greenhalgh

I still have to mull over a suggestion for the title, but here's a suggestion for the subtitle based on something you said in class when describing your new book: Why Where You Choose To Live Is The Most Important Decision You'll Ever Make.

I remember that when you summarized your book with that one line, it completely resonated with me. As we discussed in class, I think many 20 and 30 somethings spend a lot of time reflecting about the kind of place that matches their personality, values, and interests. However, I doubt many of us have ever considered that to be the most important decision that we'd ever have to make and that's what would make that title so riveting. The more I think about it, choosing where I'd like to live IS one of the most important, if not the most important, decision I'll ever make. In terms of the posts on your blog, it looks like there is early support for "Who's Your City?". So maybe "Who's Your City: Why Where You Choose To Live Is The Most Important Decision You'll Ever Make." It has a nice ring to it.


To the 60 somethings on the post. I believe the book is for readers of any age.. basically anyone who wants to reframe their understanding of location and what it means to them across all aspects of their life. Whether for personal decisions or for decisions regarding their organizations/careers.

Valeria Maltoni


It was very nice meeting you (indirectly) at the University of the Arts last week. I've been gearing up to a post on the creative economy all week on my blog and in comments on other blogs. To me that goes hand in hand with story.

I'm with Michael on the title and agree that the more popular language will open up new kinds of conversations around your thinking. My post will be up later today and will link to your blog as well so more people might weigh in on the question.

I'm planning a broader dialogue around creativity, where place matters. Thank you for igniting the topic with your special blend of passion.

Roger Anderson

I love abstract names and names that take make me think. Unfortunately, most people don't want to do that. Look what happened to "Blink", people reacted negatively to it before they even read the subtitle let alone the book. When I was looking for a title for my book I tried all kinds of fun things like rhymes and tricky spellings. Then I hit on one that had alliteration and seemed to feel right. One of the first strangers I tested it on said he wanted to buy the book and he did not even know what it was about. That was when I knew I had a winner.

For me just based on your description I would probably go with something like:
"Location, Location, Location"

at the risk of boxing you in:
"Creative Place"
It stays with your theme and should take less effort to sell since people like consistency. Many people are already familiar with you in that vein.

If I have to chose between the two you gave...I get the play on Wealth of Nations but only after it was pointed out. So I vote for "Who's Your City" which should tell you why you should not use it.

I look forward to seeing you build the brand so that the name means what you want it to next year.


The Place to Be: Why it Matters to the Global Economy, Happiness, and Everyday Life."
Just thought this captures the future looking stance of the creative class; but also the magnetic attraction for the CC; and something about the iconic status of a leading city


"Who's your city?" does not make sense. Cities are not perceived as "who"s. Better "where's your city?" in the "what city is right for you and why?" sense. And of course, this then challenges cities/places to be right for the people they want to attract and keep.

Still, I would seriously consider "Place, Win, and Show" as an alternative.


how bout a play on the ol' wizard of oz theme:

There's no place like home.

such an allusion speaks to the boomers and the young creatives; everyone knows it; and if this book is anything like its predecessors, it will help lead us all down the yellow brick road in finding the perfect place to call home.


You need a title that creates the story that people are going to tell themselves when they think about the book. These are short and catchy.

Purple Cow by Seth Godin is a great example. You know what the book is about and can immediately tell others the story.

Think about Bossidy/Charan's Execution. It is a perfect title as well. Here is the interesting part. Most people think the book is about getting things done in corporations. The authors call out specifically that it is not, yet people tell themselves that story and identify with it. So much so, that it goes on to sell a million copies.

I would stay away from the "creative class" naming. People have a tendency to think it is the same book all over again.

None of those titles have the hook you need.

The subtitle is to explain what the book is about. I think the subtitle you have is really close, if not perfect.

Good luck. This is one of the toughest parts (besides writing the book!).


I like Who's Your City. That grabbed me a lot more than any of the others. I think I would pick that book up.


'You are here' with a big bull's eye. tag line as you have it ties it all up.

Paul Hebert

One of my favorite lines from a movie...
"no matter where you go - there you are." (quiz - what movie?)

Or even something that ties into one of the "T's" like an IP address?

Neil Takemoto

In Mavericks at Work, one of the key points they made was you have to create your own lexicon if you truly want to be perceived as unique, even authentic. "Who's Your City?" fits that much better than 'The Wealth of Place' - 'wealth' isn't a very hip term anyway - ask people for the first image that pops into their head, and it probably has little to do with anything cool.

I can see 'Who's Your City?' being a national brand unto itself.

Scott Clark


(Latin - condition of being in a place)


Place Equity

Right Place

Where Matters

Wherest Thou Art

The Greenest Grass

Gil Friend

Who's Your City makes sense (to me at least) only if you're tightly targeting the demographic that resonates with who's your daddy.

I like The Wealth of Place since it pulls in many rich directions. I also agree with Hap flagging your strong brand for "X of the Creative Class". So what about

The Wealth of Place: The Choice of the Creative Class

And variations: Place > Location, Choice > Place or Choices or Settling or Roots or Home or...


Looking for creativity?
Please look at www.personal.psu.edu
God Bless
ps - "Beast" refers to how hardworking I am & I have a MBA

Michael Wells

In a bookstore this afternoon, two of the newer titles were "The Real Wealth of Nations" and "How Green is Your City?". I guess you also have to contend with what else is out there whenever you make the final decision.


I agree that sticking to the "creative" theme would be the optimal way of building on your existing platform.

How about...

Geography of the Creative Class


Destination of the Creative Class


"Place Matters"




San Francisco Chronicle;



Just a couple of thoughts:

"Who's your city" reflects one very authentic creative class perspective- the anthropomorphic nature of creatives' relationship with place. There is truly a relationship that develops between a great place and individuals- I've picked up on this in numerous interviews I've done with creatives (related to location decision making). The words and phrases resemble the same emotional characteristics of descriptions of personal relationships.

That said, is the whole "who's your city?" phrase a little like an outdated hipster comment? I like this title better than the other- it does connect to popular culture, yet I'd hate to hear anymore press about Richard Florida being a hipster...


What about "Locator- How Your Location Locates you in the Business Life"

I assume you will also talk about "Location Free" concept, which is a critical factor why people choose to join companies those days.. Location and flexibility is ( will be even more in the future) critical factor attracting and retaining talent and this will locate any company in their success.. I think "Who's your city" already puts boundries which Generation Y hates.. If the book is talking about the role of location in today's business life, it should also talk about "freedom & felxibility" and the title should reflect that.

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