Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Barbecue Meeting.

Last night my team and I had a barbecue at my house in Millcreek.

I invited a bunch of friends who aren't involved in the project as well. This essentially served two purposes, one which I planned, and the other I didn't.
  • First (planned): This would be the first time any of my staff members had met each other. It needed to feel fun and comfortable. This is fun and, while we're dead serious about accomplishing our goals, we don't need to act serious all the time. We want to always have the ability to kick back at the end of a hard day, relax, and have a good time. That's what life is all about.
  • Second: My friends and family, some of which were the biggest skeptics, were able to identify a little better with what's going on and, in some sense, feel involved in it. This ought to quiet their destructive criticisms for a while.
I think a lesson I learned from this is:

  • Get the non-believers involved.

Here is what we discussed during the meeting portion of the barbecue:

  1. Recruiting students and marketing ideas.
    1. If you see people running around in banana suits downtown, don't worry, bananas have not taken over the world. It's just us.
    2. Mostly, we believe so strongly in our mission that we know it will infect others. We are doing something because it matters and that's the best job in the world.
  2. Designing in-class curriculum.
    1. While students will design their own path, we need to have a solid base of stuff to teach them.
    2. The subjects we teach need to be based on real examples, from real business owners/social innovators.
  3. Financing
    1. Still a lot to do in this area.
      1. I have an optimistic idea that if we build it they (investors) will come, but it would be a lot easier with money.
      2. Not sure if I want to deprive myself of bootstrapping though. I sort of want to see what we can do with next to nothing, especially since our students will have next to nothing when it's their turn.


  1. You guys should hold stereos on your shoulders and blast the theme song from the "Bananas in Pajamas" theme song as you run around downtown (

    Here's a question for you which stems from a desire to help. How have you made your idea "smooth"? (Have you read Seth Godin's ebook "Unleashing the Ideavirus"? - he talks about smoothness)

    Basically, how can I pass this idea, this concept, more information, etc. on to others?

    Will you have a website?
    A blog (is this it)?
    A movie?
    ... I think you get my point.

    I agree - I think what you are doing is important and I think others will get infected but it's important to make it easy for others to get infected. If it's hard to get infected than it reduces the chance of having this idea blow up.
    Create something with your team that allows me to scream at the top of my lungs about the newest, coolest school in Utah.

  2. Lol I love the idea.

    I have not read "Unleashing the Ideavirus" and you are the second person this week to recommend it! I suppose I ought to pick it up. I have read most of Godin's other books.

    Ever since you first mentioned it, I really like the idea of doing a video similar to the Daniel Pink Video.

    I need a catchphrase too. Perhaps. "We teach you, with hands-on methods, why and how to better the world."

    Currently we are focusing the initial phase of the school on social entrepreneurship. In other words, we aim to teach people how to build sustainable platforms that create a better community, environment, and culture. (A better catchphrase?)

    Currently, I'm putting together some material for class curriculum. Stuff from and from books. I'll use other sites as well depending on the class. We're trying to get our "package" nice and tight so we can tell people exactly what we're offering them.

    I'm going to create a separate site that logs our progress on the school.

    Thank you for your comment, Collin! Keep em coming. This is your project too. :)

  3. Harsh SwaminarayanJune 17, 2010 at 7:56 AM

    wow Ryan, no wonder you are quite invisible on our group!
    Keep it up, Great work, how i wish i was in Uthah! :-)