An Experiment for Good.

By: PeteCC BY 2.0

 

This weekend I’m taking a break from ServiceChat.

I’ll hang out with my family and go to some friends on Saturday for a BBQ and on Sunday, we’ll head to Salobreña for our first San Juan celebration (no , I don’t really know what it is either!).

This weekend also, I want to try a little experiment, an experiment for good – well, at least start it off.  It is a lovely juxtaposition between my dream and an idea for a game that I have kept putting off.

The Dream

All through my career I’ve met people who have said things like ‘give X away!? why – I’m not a philanthropist’ or ‘why give it when you can sell it’. I’ve quietly listened and argued with that thinking internally.

I am a philanthropist, there I said it.  It’s not a dirty word (at least not how I interprete it). I don’t have much money, nor even much free time.  But I do have creativity, innovation, curiosity and skills and I can/will and do give those and their various products freely to those who can benefit from it.

When I dream about my future, it always involves a few businesses that are generating incomes sure, but also joy.  The money they generate is doing something wonderful in the world, not simply going to pay for expensive, unnecessary stuff.  I’m delighted that I don’t have to wait long to start doing this – I support a few charities but mostly use Kiva to do microlending.  I find microlending to be one of the most respectful and empowering ideas of our age (if you aren’t already doing micro-lending, I encourage you to check it out, you don’t need very much to start and the joy you generate far outweighs whatever limited risk of losing money there is).

The Idea

It’s called Twumps and it’s a game. If  you ever played trading game cards or something like Top Trumps – a stats comparison game based around themed cards, you’ll love what I want to make.
Plus you don’t even have to wait very long to experience it.

The Experiment

Here is what I want to discover:

Can I launch a revenue generating thing that pretty much runs itself and use that to perpetually and increasingly fund the change I want to see in the world?

So, I want to build something (Twumps) that people can play and enjoy and possibly either make donations to or pay something for (this will emerge) and/or generate advertising from and can I extend that by making it continuously and totally fund some good in the world.

How

I want this experiment to be done as transparently as possible. Why?  Well, why not?

Prior to its release, I’ll open a new @kiva account for Twumps  and make it’s transactions public.  Initially I will make all  revenue payable to Kiva directly  (from donations or advertising). If this experiment succeeds, I may deduct enough to cover operating costs (pretty much just the hosting) to keep it running smoothly and pass everything else to @Kiva.  All those costs will also be entirely transparent.

Who knows, this might encourage other entrepreneurs to consider this as a business model – only one in which they do not personally benefit financially but one that they can leave a living trust for good work in the World. Now wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing?

What Next?

Stay tuned, I shall be asking for help.
Very soon I shall need some UI and graphic design help (I’m great at functionality but suck at making things look wow!) and later I shall need players and feedback and later still I shall need things yet unknown!

It’ll be fun.

ps. Please share this.

My Exclusive Gift To You

I have a gift for you.

It’s a gift that was given to me and it is changing my life and my relationships.

It has given me a language that I didn’t even know I didn’t have.

For me, this gift is everything a gift should be. Simple yet revolutionary, beautifully articulate yet infinitely understandable, defined but not a recipe, immediately practical yet intensely personal.

This gift is a message contained in a book. The book is “Non Violent Communication – a Language for Life” by Marshall Rosenberg.

I would like to make a few requests of you (these aren’t pre-requisites, you may still receive this gift without complying).

  • Can you commit to read this book in January?– its message was revolutionary for me and I regretted not reading it earlier so that I could have benefited sooner. I would like you to benefit from it as soon as possible. What better time than the start of a new year!
  • Would you consider paying this gift forward? – find a way of paying my gift forward. I trust you will find a way to gift someone something  you value – your time, your care, a book. Love does not like being cooped up – it wants to radiate through the universe. Help it.
  • Would you gift the book if you have no further use for it? – if for some reason the message did not resonate with you, that’s cool, but I would wish that this book would not gather dust on your bookshelf when it might be busy changing someone else’s life for the price of postage.
  • Please consider not selling this gift? If you really don’t want it and are unable/unwilling to pass it on, please send it back to me.

That’s it.  Beyond these fairly reasonable requests, you can do what you choose with either the book or its message.  I hope it is as revolutionary for you as it has been for me and presents as many new options as it removes.

Why Am I Doing This?

The short and simple reason is Love.  Corny I know – but that’s it. Deal with it.

The slightly longer reason is that I care that you (and everyone else ) are happy and fulfilled and  operates from empathy and compassion (and receives the same).

Lately I have not been operating from empathy and compassion – damn near forgot about them. Truth is I’ve been operating from anger and frustration for a while, this book helped me rediscover empathy and compassion as more fulfilling places to operate from and provided immediate improvements I could make to get there.  It takes deliberate practice and self awareness but my relationships are significantly improved, I have more joy in my life and I feel more responsible for my own feelings.

Something this powerful should be shared, I believe it should be required reading for everyone and this is the simplest way I know to start.  

If even one person who receives this gift experiences the changes I experienced, my investment would be more than repaid.

So, what are you waiting for?

How To Get This Gift.

I initially have 15 copies to gift. You can have either the paperback or the kindle edition.

My preference is to gift the paperback as they are easier to share than the kindle editions.  But I leave that to your discretion (if you had the kindle edition and couldn’t share it. perhaps you might consider buying a kindle edition as your paying it forward or share)

IMPORTANT!  To get this gift please tweet:

@mhsutton Mike, I’d like to #receiveTheGift.

I will pick 15 random responses at 00:01 on January 01 2013 (GMT) and contact each recipient individually to sort out delivery.

For paperbacks: I’ll place the relevant order on Amazon (with Amazon or a marketplace vendor) and give them your preferred delivery address and you’ll get the gift in the post.

For kindle editions: I will gift your kindle email address the book from my own kindle address.