Tummel me, please, to a connected company!
- I share a letter that I wrote asking for help to overcome the corporate
wall. I appreciate our ideas that I might make-a-living compatible with
my vision! Thank you for caring.
I note that Dave Gray's idea of a "connected company" is related to the
observation that as a city increases in size, productivity also
increases, see "A Physicist Solves the City" about Geoffrey West
Whereas as a company grows, its productivity decreases. I'm sure Franz
Nahrada would debate in favor of villages, but still, this is an
important perspective to know about. Also, Dave Gray's article sketches
a "pattern language" for a "connected company".
Thank you for your loving attention.
Deb, your letter emboldens me to think that others, too, work to break
through corporate walls, whether from the inside or the outside.
I write now about my personal challenges. I relate them to Dave Gray's
"connected company" and to your tummlers. I recall also Peter Kaminski
describing himself as a bridge builder instead of a wall builder. I
think that my life can serve here as an experiment of interest not just
to myself but others as well. I invite suggestions, what might I do?
and steps, large and small, how might we work together?
My goal is to share a culture
* which fulfills the will of God
* who loves us more than we love ourselves
* even as here and now we shut ourselves down, tune ourselves out, turn
* thus cherishes the truth of our lives here and now
* and centers on us as the "poor-in-spirit"
* who prefer to take many small leaps of faith rather than one big one
* thus shares the many "ways of figuring things out"
* lived as games
* so that we experience interchangeably
* and know conclusively
* that we each may stand alone
* thus one with God and all.
So even right there I'm keen on "Gamestorming"
http://www.gogamestorm.com And if gamestorming is the micro-activity,
then perhaps the connected company is the macro-activity.
I likewise admire Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of scouting, which
is a culture of games. I aspire to play a role like his, along with
others. I'm interested in Alcoholics Anonymous, Sarvodaya, monastic
orders and other purposeful cultures.
From 1998 to 2010, I led Minciu Sodas, ("Orchard of Thoughts"),
http://www.ms.lt an online laboratory for independent thinkers around
the world. We did achieve a culture which was more than just talk.
Here's a sample communication:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mendenyo/message/3256 and see others
from that group. Yet our culture was too weak for me to make it work as
a business, as an economy. I ended up with $140,000 in debt.
I moved to the US and worked as a tutor, but I won't be given more
students because I'm too honest. I could look for other work, but in
field after field - education, finance, health care, food industry - I
think that systems are working counter to their purposes, which is to
say, it's not work that I myself could honestly do - I would generally
get kicked out, as I have. I asked God, what does he want me to do? He
said that he wants me to apply my creative talents. He has a lot
invested in me.
Why do we start businesses? In a divided world, we may be divided
people, and so we may segregate our work life and our home life. In a
connected world, we are connected people, for wealth is relationships,
and we generate wealth by including ourselves and others as fully as we
can. Given my personal goal, I'm trying to make-a-living in a way that's
compatible. My downward path is in stages:
* In a few months, I may go bankrupt, which would discourage me from
more attempts at business. I currently need $2,500 per month to stay
* I may or may not find honest work. I'm not keen on competing for work
that other people are seeking. I'm only paying $400 for my room and I
get food for free from the church food pantry. I can live on less than
$1,000 per month.
* I may go semi-homeless. I may get my glasses broken or teeth smashed
or my laptop stolen. I may go around praying for people and/or becoming
a Peace Lord here in Black America. Ultimately, I think the need to
"make a living" is a fiction, a bogeyman. I may find out.
If I didn't feel an obligation to make a living, then I would write up
the hundreds of ways that I myself have figured things out in my
philosophy and my life. I've organized them nicely in a "house of
knowledge" of 24 rooms: http://www.selflearners.net/ways/
In a connected world, what does business look like? I believe that the
one-person firm is the most natural. Each person participates directly
in their own relationships. This makes for the maximum amount of
relationships amongst firms. People may group together in a fluid way.
Each person is hyperflexible like Jesus, like a person-in-general, like
an entrepreneur. People relate to each other as equals.
What size of service is optimal for such an entrepreneur? I would like
to serve 5 to 10 clients at $5,000 to $10,000 each per year. That way
for each client I pull together dozens of relationships to yield
something unique. If I were to serve more clients for smaller amounts,
then I would end up competing with corporations that are optimized to
sell commodities. I would have to hire people, supervise them and tend
towards a corporation myself.
What can I offer? I can document and share "ways of figuring things out"
in domains such as mathematics, science, engineering, medicine, law,
governance, finance, business, agriculture, cooking, fashion, art,
theatre, ethics and more. I can interview creative people and feature
them. I can engage them at their online communities and thank our
sponsors meanwhile, as I and my lab did for Mornflake cereal and their
online video contest http://www.selflearners.net/Network/KindWords This
would yield thousands of "ways of figuring things out", a trove of
knowledge, a foundation for a culture. See my proposal:
In a connected world, people of means and imagination would meet me
halfway. I imagine:
* Stephen Wolfram would fund me to promote Wolfram Alpha
http://www.wolframalpha.com, Mathematica, "A New Kind of Science" while
sharing "ways of figuring things out" in mathematics.
* Larry Bock of the USA Science & Engineering Festival
http://www.usasciencefestival.org would fund me to promote the festival
while noting how the scientific method is variously used in different
fields (geology, astronomy, genetics, quantum physics...) and how
scientists and engineers dream up their ideas.
* Jeff Arnold of ShareCare http://www.sharecare.com would fund me to
show the many ways that doctors figure things out and you can, too.
* Jeff Dachis of Dachis Group http://www.dachisgroup.com would fund me
to uncover ways of figuring out what's right or wrong in business, or
perhaps, ways of figuring out the characteristics of a connected company.
I'm naive to think they might. In a divided world, they would not
because they would think only of themselves, primarily, how to make more
money with the money they have, rather than spend it. In a connected
world, they would be inclusive and meet me and others half way and share
resources towards a shared vision. President Obama, well meaning as he
is, rallied Americans to compete against other nations, and thereby
showed that ours is a divided world.
This is where tummlers come in. I read at Deborah Schultz's site
http://www.deborahschultz.com and podcast (with Heather Gold and Kevin
Marks) http://tummelvision.tv that "tummler" is a Yiddish concept - an
entertainer who hosts a public and encourages them to participate -
which they now recognize in the online world. Tummlers engage us to
work together. Schmoozing and matchmaking are other Yiddish concepts,
but I think tummeling is adamantly public, and thus key for fostering a
I offer myself as a "tummlee" for experiments in "tummeling".
I believe that the culture I seek, and the ways of figuring things out,
are key for a connected world. Nobody may care the questions I ask or
the answers I find. (If you do, see my video, "I Wish to Know"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArN-YbPlf8M ) But I think they may care
about the ways that I've figured things out because they may apply them
to their own concerns. The ways of figuring things out can be a
universal language if we can phrase them as games for all to try.
Who would care about such a culture?
A connected company is one which gives rise to spaces for tummlers,
whether inside or outside.
Which companies are key for a connected world?
Twitter http://www.twitter.com and Kickstarter
http://www.kickstarter.com come to mind. Twitter, unlike Facebook, is
not a walled garden, but rather is open for all to see. Tweets are de
facto Public Domain as they are so short and retweeting is encouraged,
with or without attribution. Tweets are a public way to acknowledge
In 2000, I and my lab published a draft of a "Mindset standard" for
import/export of "thoughts" between tools like TheBrain
http://www.thebrain.com and MindManager http://www.mindmanager.com
http://www.ms.lt/mindset.html Back then there was little content. But
now there are hundreds of millions of tweets that could be organized in
combinations of sequences, hierarchies and networks, as the standard
envisaged. More broadly, we could study and share how "tweeting", and
the aggregates created, are used to figure things out.
I am delighted to think that Deborah and Dave and Jerry and others might
"tummel" me, as you think best, just to see what's possible. I've tried
to show with Gamestorming that I'll work for free if that's compatible
with finding paid work in what's relevant for me. I created a
Gamestorming cheat sheet and wrote a Wikipedia article. Dave was very
supportive and invited me to blog that at http://www.gogamestorm.com I
would love to do more such work for whoever sees what might be most