Writings by a younger, less handsome man who shares my name


I’m writing from Warsaw, Poland just one hour before leading a “masterclass” on missioneurship at the European Creative Cities Conference.

I’m surrounded by young social entrepreneurs from places like Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, England, Ireland, Thailand and, yes, the good old United States — although I’m one of only two Americans here.

The social entrepreneurs here get missioneurship, they really do. It’s intuitive to them to put mission at the center of their universe and to treat entrepreneurship as a means to that end. They get the importance of driving revenue from their core services, even though they don’t know how to do it. They understand that by building mission enterprises, they can revolutionize their communities, even when governments and established institutions aren’t willing to help (or actively oppose them).

What don’t they understand? Above all, me! Sometimes they ask me to repeat myself because they can’t understand my English or I talk too fast. I adjusted my presentation slides to make up for this, with lots of text slides so that they can follow along when they have trouble understanding me.

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We snapped some lovely photos of the mob of missioneurs who attended the first ever Mission Mob event this Tuesday. I hope these smiling faces make you half as happy as they make me!

> Visit missioneurs.com to see a full event recap with videos

I spent most of last night awake and working frantically on this big announcement by Philly Startup Leaders. We felt we had to act immediately if Philly’s effort to bring gigabit broadband here was going to succeed. We also thought that whether or not Google chooses Philadelphia, this is an opportunity to shine a worldwide light on our grassroots tech and creative communities.

Here’s a summary of the announcement with a link to the full version:

Philly Startup Leaders needs your help to do something big for Philly. Really big.
We’re pledging $5,000 toward a prize for the best gigabit idea submitted on Gigabit Philly. This is all the money we have available as an organization — it’s our savings for the last two and half years. We need you and the city to match it.

The Google gigabit competition is a golden opportunity to prove that we have the best grassroots tech and creative community in the world. Our grassroots communities have already started the campaign with Gigabit Philly, a website that collects your big ideas for how to harness gigabit connectivity to change the world.

Yet we will fail in this campaign unless we do something dramatic. We have to show Google what’s special about Philly. And we haven’t done that so far.

So Philly Startup Leaders is taking a gamble on Gigabit Philly, and we need your help. Our $5,000 pledge is just the beginning. We need our donation to spark a wave of pledges large and small that will draw worldwide attention to Philly. This prize will help us generate hundreds if not thousands of big ideas on Gigabit Philly from all over the world.

Make a pledge now and send the full announcement to everyone you know. We need help from every one of you!

Here’s the link to share: http://phillystartupleaders.org/news/philly-startup-leaders-goes-all-in-for-gigabit-philly/

We literally went from idea to launch in about 12 hours. At 9pm last night, a group of us were sitting at the Philly Startup Leaders fishbowl event with an idea, and by 9am this morning our announcement was live.

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Olympians do super human things, but they aren’t super human.

Sure, they can push themselves harder and longer than the rest of us. Lance Armstrong’s heart is about twice as strong as mine. At rest, his beats 32 times per minute while mine is in the high 50s.

This means that during a sprint in the Tour de France, when his heart is exploding at 200 beats per minute, he’s pushing blood and oxygen through his legs with twice the force of my heart when I’m maxed out on a soccer field.

He could make a fool out of me in any test of physical endurance. And he’s 38 years old.

But here’s what he can’t do. He can’t train his body not to scream in pain when it gets tired. He can’t train his mind not to consider quitting when his body is broken and hurting like hell weeks into a race.

His body obeys the same rules mine does. It breaks and hurts and gets so tired that it tells him to stop. So does his mind. It tries to rationalize the easy way out. It tells him that it’s okay to slow down. Everything will be fine.

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Imagine that you are stuck on an island with only a handful of other people. [image of guy alone on an island]

These people are very different from you. And you don’t like some of them.

Maybe their names are Gilligan, Mary Ann and the Skipper. Or maybe they are your boss, your competitor, the loudmouth who hogs all the credit and your ex-friend who gossips about you behind your back.

Sure, you don’t have to get along with them. You can choose to avoid one, not talk to another and form an alliance with whoever feels the same way.

But it’s going to make life on that little island lonely and complicated. More importantly, it’s going to be hard to get the things you need.

Because the loudmouth knows how to waterproof your hut. The competitor knows how to find water when it hasn’t rained in weeks. And your ex-friend has the savvy to rally the other two to help.

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