When Forbes.com wrote the St. Louis Doesn’t Suck article, today’s guest saw an opportunity to do something. A self-described doer of many things, Nicole Hudson Hollway likes to bring other Doers into the mix. She sees a direct connection between being a Doer and being a Community Catalyst. She organized #stlftl (St. Louis For The Love) with some peeps and started highlighting people who chose to live in her city. The result is more than 100 profiles curated on the group’s Facebook page.
One of the things I really like about Nicole is her passion and focus. I think that is key for Doers all over. If you want to make a difference, know what skills you bring to the table and put them into practice whenever you can.
Counterfeit drugs in India? Not gonna happen. Children exploited and sold into the sex slave industry? Raised money to combat that too. Sarah Spear is an interesting (in a good way) Doer. As a Doer she works full-time as the Executive Director at Arch Grants (an organization focused on being a Community Catalyst). Arch Grants provides non-dilutive seed funding to innovative companies. Those seed funds — and the mentoring/coaching that accompanied the bucks — brought nearly 20 new companies to downtown St. Louis. In our second installment of Doers Done Did, spend some getting to know Sarah Spear.
I might be biased, but I think we’re on to something here positioning OverFundIt as the ultimate grassroots “getting shit done” platform. It’s not just Doers who seem excited, but members of the community are getting jazzed.
OverFundIt will launch in a community soon. Our decision will be based heavily on activity and Doer concentration (and I don’t mean to imply that it will come to your town solely based on positive mental attitude).
Periodically we will introduce you to Doers who are, well, doing stuff. This time we bring you Rob Walling…the master of purposeful doing. Watch the interview and you will be surprised at what his favorite activity to do as a Doer really is. I’ll give you a hint: his doing literally makes other people better.
If you want to experience Rob’s teaching, you gotta check out The Micropreneur Academy or grab his book, Start Small, Stay Small. Rob is an amazing Doer and often crosses over to the Community Catalyst side.
Update: “Doers Done Did” teaser video…
We haven’t launched yet, but Doers are popping up everywhere. Actually, we’ve known about hardworking Doers for quite a while, but they are usually too busy doing to take time and tell their stories. So we want to help tell the story of Doers. Starting soon we’ll add a DoTube section to the site. It will be a feature of our blog where I spend a few minutes talking to cool Doers. Why? First, if you have to ask why, you might not be our demographic. Second, we want to do three specific things for doers:
We have a few Doers lined up, but we want to know about more. If you know of (or are) a Doer who should be featured on the DoTube section of our blog, send us an email or tweet at us with the hashtag #DoTube and we’ll take the next steps.
The launch of OverFundIt comes at a perfect time. In an effort to match the brilliance of my fellow co-founders, I am taking a Gamification course through Coursera. Professor Kevin Werbach (@kwerb) is great and each session I find new bits and pieces we can apply here at OverFundIt. The team is essentially building a platform based on our philosophical belief that the world can be a better place if the people who do good stuff could be given the opportunity to do more good stuff.
You know what happens when playful people take on a serious challenge? They decide to make changing the world into a game! That got me thinking about these three points from Prof Werbach’s lecture:
- Players are the center of the game
- Players feel a sense of autonomy/control
- Players play
players are the center of the game
In the OverFundIt world Doers and Community Catalysts (aka Funders) are the players. These are real people. We strip away the mysterious profiles and protective layers of bureaucracy and just focus on the players. Games are most enjoyable when you have skilled players. Volleyball is better with bump, set and spike. Monopoly is more fun when people are strategic and know basic math. As players get better, the quality of the game gets better. OverFundIt wants to connect players who are good at doing stuff and funders who are more than just wallets, they are true Community Catalysts. We get want to get out of the way of those who matter most…the players.
players feel a sense of autonomy/control
This one is big for us. While we want to create community and connectedness, we realize that Doers and Community Catalysts are free and independent thinkers. We are building a system to promote and reward those qualities. I’ve lived in cities where the Doers were marginalized or felt like they had little control of progress. I know we all have experienced a lack of autonomy and control when it comes to funding – we elect people and hand over significant control to them. OverFundIt changes that. We know that change – big change – will happen when barriers are removed and people are provided a platform to change reality.
Yes, money will be involved. Doers will need to identify how much money their initiative will take. Community Catalysts will need figure out how much they want to contribute. So what? That doesn’t mean it won’t be playful. OverFundIt will have a number of challenges and ways to keep the process in a state of play. Players play is like saying Doers do…or Community Catalysts…catalyze? We will create a system that is natural, fun, and delivers results.
So, do you want to play? Where would you start?
There are two tenets we hold near and dear to our collective hearts here at OverFundIt: We want to engage people who possess the boldness of a child and the focused determination of a person driven to make things better.
As the site develops and people start participating as Doers and Community Catalysts, you will see more evidence of boldness and determination; however, we aren’t going to let a few hundred lines of code stand in the way of setting that tone immediately.
The kid being lifted to new heights by a flock of birds represents the collective boldness of the OverFundIt community. Think about the imagination of kids. It’s not as much about fantasy as it is about possibility. Kids unapologetically reach for new heights and it’s generally adults who try and squash that boldness. We want to bring it back.
We describe OverFundIt as the ultimate grassroots getting shit done platform. Have you ever tried to stand in the way of a Doer? Have you ever tried to stand in the way of a Community Catalyst? Don’t. Focused determination is awesome. We want people to connect. Not every Doer will resonate with each Community Catalyst, but we know that people like to see things get done. It’s that little less talk and a lot more action mindset.
We do not apologize or think our brand is in conflict. We like to join the two constructs. It’s the same reason Irma wears t-shirts with Nintendo characters on them, the reason why I collect Pez and bourbon, and the reason why Chris can work 24/7 on a project and easily blends the lines between work and play.
OverFundIt is about being disruptive. Care to disrupt the world with us?
Irms, OverFundIt co-founder and all-around cool cat, started something November of last year — she wanted to give money to someone who would do something good with it. Now, don’t rush out and try to squeeze Irms for a few bucks, we have a better plan. Two different times she posted on her personal blog and via social media that she had $1,000 to put in someone else’s hands. Cool, right? Look what happened…
People submitted applications – we call these people Doers
People added to the pot-o-cash – we call these people Community Catalysts
The first Doer ended up getting $2,100 and the second Doer scored $2,325. Both were able to move their ideas forward. That got us thinking about doing this more often…maybe even creating a platform. That brings us to today and OverFundIt.com. After a quick brainstorming session about the purpose of such a platform, we realized that it wasn’t as much about crowdfunding as it was about getting shit done. Plain and simple. There are Doers in each community that have the skills to make cool stuff happen. You don’t hear about them, but you enjoy the fruits of their labor. Sometimes, they just do stuff because they want the benefit of an improved community. We love that kind of selfishness. They work hard and the whole community wins.
Well, we want to push the idea of #dollars4doers forward and OverFundIt is our tool. We are building it for Doers and Community Catalysts. Doers, you will be able to publicize the stuff you want to get done. Community Catalysts, you be able to help fund the change you want to see in your community. Don’t give us the old, “I already pay taxes” excuse. How’s that working out for you? Put money in the hands of people who know how to spend it wisely. If they do enough cool stuff, you’ll probably end up electing them one of these day…and we’ll have a curated record of their accomplishments.
Irms used a pretty simple formula when she was evaluating submissions by Doers:
The money will do x, which means the company [community] can do y, and you will be able to tell by z.
Use the #dollars4doers hashtag and help spread the word. We are launching OverFundIt community-by-community with the first community going live in about 45-days.
What do you want to do?