5 People, 52 Weeks, 1 Converted School Bus

Summer is here which means it’s time for our summer showcase to begin!

Our first 2012 post comes from a group of recent college graduates touring the United States in a blue school bus*.  I met the author of this post, Gelb, on Twitter and am so honored he agreed to share his story with us.

Like many excited college graduates, around this time late last year I was being bombarded with questions about what was next. While some could point to new jobs, continuation of studies, or sometimes uncertainty, I was different. I was going to live on a converted school bus for a year and make films. Definitely a response that turns heads.

Five of us, all recent college grads, set off in January on a big blue school bus named Stanley. Continue reading

Vulnerability for Nonprofits

This post is part of a series on Vulnerability.  If you are new here you may want to start with this post.  

Jenny Mitchell, Chavender Inc.

If you’ve been hanging out here for awhile you know I’m a big fan of Brené Brown and her research around the value of expressing vulnerability.  So when my friend and client Jenny Mitchell of Chavender Inc.  wrote about how this video changed her view of what nonprofit board members need to do their best work  I knew I wanted to share it here.

Jenny says:

. . .with Brené’s video in mind, what kind of a Board are you building? Are you creating a sense of belonging around the table? Are you cultivating authenticity and opportunities for connections to happen? Brené talks about “excruciating vulnerability” being directly on the path towards a sense of connectedness among humans. And yet, most not-for-profit professionals would laugh out loud if I told them that I was building a “vulnerable board” to fully support my cause.

According to Brené’s definition of vulnerability, the first step towards finding a sense of belonging is to “put yourself out there and be vulnerable.” With that definition in mind, what kind of opportunities can you provide for Board members so that they experience this sense of connection?

Read the full post at Chavender.com.

While you are over there, be sure to check out some of Jenny’s other posts as well.  This one is my favorite.

Do You Equate Boring with Serious?

Do you believe the only way to become a thought leader in your field is to express yourself in as dry a manner as possible?

Do you use data or graphs your audience won’t be able to read so your opinion seems well-researched?

Do you obfuscate your  meaning with words like obfuscate to make yourself feel smarter?

Do you wonder why you have a hard time bringing outsiders into your fold?

Unless you work in web development, gaming, or some corners of the internet marketing sector, the answer to these questions is most likely yes.  It also explains why if I were to sum up my consulting practice into one sentence it would be:

Stop sapping the awesome out of your inherently amazing work. Continue reading

4 (more) lessons from a successful Kickstarter Campaign

Kick starter

Get it?

As you might have gathered from the relative lack of activity here in the past couple of weeks,  my head has been somewhere else.   Specifically, it’s been over here in Kickstarter land.

I’m happy to report that the effort paid off, and as of last week, Mach 30 successfully met its fundraising goal.  More importantly (for you at least) we learned 4 more Kickstarter lessons since my last post.


A good campaign generates more than money

A sprout in a lightbulb.

Image via Wikipedia

Like most people, we found our way to Kickstarter because we had a project and needed money.  We were pleased to discover our backers and potential backers had a lot more than just cash to offer. Continue reading

3 Lessons from my first Kickstarter Campaign

Late last month the rest of the Mach 30 board and I launched our first Kickstarter campaign.

Since the goal of the campaign is  to create a SourceForge for Open Source Hardware and I don’t expect there are a ton of open source hardware folks hanging out here* I’m going to skip the “give us money part.”

On the other hand, almost all of you are interested in how to fund the work that drives you, so I’ll focus on the three big lessons we learned from our first attempt at a Kickstarter campaign–as well as a bonus lesson that applies to successful projects of all kinds. Continue reading