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"The Future of Work": A cross-country quest aboard the RVIP's video poster
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A coast-to-coast quest to discover and celebrate the future of work--a video series and traveling event. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on April 2, 2012.

A coast-to-coast quest to discover and celebrate the future of work--a video series and traveling event.

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

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SO MUCH going on that this post almost can't contain it, but let's try anyway since it's all we've got

Hello, lovely Kickstarterpudlians!

Lane here. Oh, my, you're look pretty today. Even prettier than usual, I think! Did you change your hair? No? Well, it looks fantastic—just fantastic. Really brings out that mischievous sparkle in your eyes.

But enough about you: It's been a while since our campaign ended (three cheers for happy endings!), and quite a bit has happened since then, so settle in for an extensive though occasionally meandering yet ultimately illuminating update about all that was and all that will be. Also, inspirational quotes from dead mathematicians. For example:

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.” —Blaise Pascal

1) BOOKS HAVE SHIPPED! 

Indeed they have. They started shipping April 17, and the final set should have gone out last week, so hopefully you've received the appropriate number of copies already. If not, please email us to let us know, and we'll get the situation cleared right up. lane@monstro.com works great for that.

The Kickstarter campaign was a major part of our book launch, and we genuinely want to thank you for your participation. It made a huge difference. Because of your support, we were able to hit #6 on the New York Times Bestseller list for business books the week we came out! As well as #3 in USA Today, #3 in The Wall Street Journal, and #14 for all non-fiction in Publisher's Weekly. (But who's counting, really?)

This has been amazing for us for any number of reasons, including that my grandmother has totally snagged the upper hand in bragging rights during the daily bridge game at her retirement community. That's huge, gang. Huge. She wanted us to say thanks, actually. So thank you, from both us and my grandma. You guys rock.

Oh, and if you've read the book and enjoyed it, the absolute best way to let us know is with a quick 5 star review on Amazon. They make a big difference, and we'd appreciate it immensely.

“If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."—Isaac Newton

2) TOUR DATES!

The question on everyone's lips, of course, is when is that crazy cross-country karaoke RV book tour party thing going to hit the streets? And which cities will it be visiting? And are you really not allowed to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody?”

Good question! So here's the deal. Though we had originally planned to circumnavigate the continent in one grand, sweeping arc, upon further examination we realized that plan was, in a word, terrible. Among other things, we got a tad concerned that spending more than a month crammed together in a 35 foot long RV with nothing but each other for company would quickly turn into a cross-country karaoke version of “The Lord of the Flies.” And nobody here wants to end up like Piggy, you know? Poor Piggy. Also Thor's got kids, and maybe it's not the best idea for him to be gone for over a month while they're still at home during these critical early developmental years. Losing a parent to karaoke—that's just the worst. I know. I've been there. Damn you, “Eye of the Tiger!”

Instead, we're breaking the trip up into 3 or 4 separate 1.5-2.5 week jaunts, each focused on a different segment of this great land of ours (apologies if it isn't yours, but it's still pretty great.) First up: The American Southwest! We'll be starting out in Los Angeles, middle of next week, heading to Boulder to hang out for “Boulder Startup Week” from the 17th to the 20th of May, moving on to the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area from the 25th to the 27th, and we're working on making pit stops in Phoenix, Mojave, and maybe Vegas in there, too. 

If you're located in any of those cities, and you want to make sure you're kept up to date on RV appearances, parties, and other miscellany as it pertains, never fear: We'll have another update out shortly with a final itinerary and locations for our appearances. We also welcome suggestions for places to go and particularly people to see (and film) while we're there! We're talking about interesting companies, cool work spaces, innovative approaches to this whole “Future of Work” that we can incorporate into the video series (about which more below.) Bring it on! 

Next up will be the Pacific Northwest! We'll be in SF June 22 and 23rd with the RV before heading up the coast for the second leg of our journey, hitting Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver for sure, so keep an eye out for updates about that trip as well. After that we'll be headed east, with the goal of making it to the vast majority of the continent by September/October, which will also give us more time to produce our video episodes in between.

A final note: If you requested a special RV experience with your donation, believe me, you'll get it. Those of you who ponied up for preferential treatment, if you're in one of our already scheduled cities, we'll be in touch shortly.

And, in fact, no: No one is allowed to sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” on the RVIP unless they're a trained opera singer. No one. Don't even try.

“If I have not seen as far as others, it is because there were giants standing on my shoulders."—Hal Abelson

3) T-SHIRTS AND POSTERS!

We've been hard at work on the designs for all of these, and we're happy to report that the poster design has been completed. It's bee-you-tee-ful. Mad props to the team at Column Five Media for making that happen. 

We're also getting somewhere with the t-shirt designs, but we haven't quite finished those yet. We also failed, in our last survey, to get you to specify male or female along with the appropriate t-shirt size. So, if you're expecting a t-shirt, as soon as we have the two different designs finished we'll be sending out another inquiry confirming the shirt and size you want, with that added bonus gender question.

Expect all that to go down in June, which is also when we'll be shipping out the posters, as soon as we're back from the first leg of our trip.

“I don't believe in mathematics.”—Albert Einstein

4) VIDEO SERIES!

And, of course, the whole point of the whole thing, which is the video series we're planning on shooting as we travel around the country, “The Future of Work,” documenting the new ways that people are finding to make a living doing what they love. This is shaping up quite nicely. We've brought aboard a very talented producer who has worked extensively with Participant Productions, as well as an awesome video crew who'll be riding along, shooting and editing as we go. Frankly, the whole thing has turned into a much bigger production than we ever quite expected, in no small part to the publicity we got from all the participation in the Kickstarter campaign. So thanks for that, too!

At the moment, our two biggest priorities for our shoot, both of which you can help us with:

a) We need stories. People and companies—in any city, but particularly those listed above—whose narrative about how they work now resonates with our theme. The quirkier, more unusual, and more individual the better. Two guys running a rocket-launching startup out of their garage? An investment banker who gave it all up to start an artisanal mayonnaise factory? A rural food truck? A pop-up, subscription-based restaurant? Or anything else you know about—send 'em our way. lane@monstro.com works best for introductions. 

And if you're that person, so much the better. We want to tell your story. Hook us up.

b) Production partners. Kickstarter was a great, well, kick start, but if we really want to blow this thing out of the water, we need additional resources and partners. We're looking for companies that would like to be associated with this series, as well as those who have extensive distribution networks that can help us get the individual episodes out to the world as they're completed. Money and promotion, basically. If you own that company or organization, or you know of one that might be interested, let's make it happen! Once again, that email is: lane@monstro.com.

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” —Rene Descartes

Thanks! You've been a fantastic audience. We heart you. Until next time!

Lane and Thor and the crew of the RVIP

Books have been sent!

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Together, we did it

We're super duper thrilled to report that we surpassed our minimum funding goal! Obviously, this is all about you, and we feel so honored to have your support for what promises to be a thrilling ride this spring. We're not quite done yet--any additional funding will help us add dates and locations to our itinerary--but the game is most certainly ON!

Now, a few quick notes:

1. Get Out the Vote! There is still one last day to vote for the towns you'd like the RVIP Lounge/Future of Work web series to hit on our maiden voyage. Many of you have not yet cast your ballots! Please do it now: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZJGRJPG. If you know others that might want to get us to their neck of the woods, invite them to participate!

2. Meet us in Portlandia. Thor will be speaking and leading a workshop on the Eight Skills of Planned Serendipity at this year's Webvisions conference. This is always a great event, and we'd love to see you there. Today is the last day to buy early bird tickets! http://www.webvisionsevent.com/portland/

3. Join us for a live Q&A on Tuesday. We're interviewing community pioneer Bill Johnston to find out how he sees the future of work unfolding in a large company, Dell. It's free and online, so why not sign up? http://www3.gotomeeting.com/118541358

Thanks again for everything you've done! Here's a sneak peak at our book--we just received the very first printed copies from our publisher. Maybe it's just us, but it seems to purr when we pet it :)

- Thor and Lane

The End Game

After just 2.5 weeks we're now within sight of our ambitious goal, and we're going to be working our butts off over the next few days to make sure we hit our target with flying colors. We can't thank you enough for all of your pledges, tweets, tongue-wagging and unadulterated goodwill that has gotten us this far. 

For those of you who have asked us how you can help get us to our goal (beyond pledging), here's the answer: just pull one other backer into the campaign. If you know someone who would love to rock the RVIP, or who embodies the future of work, invite them to be a part of this historic event! Do it now!

There is much to report. Behind the scenes the project has taken on a life of its own. We have producers, collaborators, subjects, sponsors and media partners clamoring to be a part of the adventure. It turns out the "future of work" is a VERY HOT TOPIC, indeed, especially in the midst of an election year. The grassroots support the Kickstarter campaign is showing is a huge part of the turbo boost we're experiencing.

The itinerary is starting to take shape. Many towns are in contention, and anything could still happen, but in addition to SF, LA and NYC, we've seen tremendous support from the following 15 towns, in order or pledged contributions:

  • Toronto, ON
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Athens, GA
  • Atlanta, GA (two cities from GA in the top 5!!!)
  • Houston, TX
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Deigo, CA
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA 
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Detroit, MI
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Philadelphia, PA

Do you want to increase the odds of your town being on the final itinerary? Encourage local companies to pitch in! We have several rewards designed to give companies national attention and access to our workshop/consulting services. It's now or never! (okay, maybe not "never," but now's a very good time!)

WOOHOO, FREEBIE! Join us for a free webcast on Tuesday, April 3rd at 11am PST, 2pm PST as we interview Bill Johnson, customer community pioneer and mastermind behind many of Dell's community efforts. We'll talk about planned serendipity, the future of work, and what it means to be a company that blurs the lines between employees and its customers. Register now! http://www3.gotomeeting.com/118541358

Okay, that's it for now. TTYL.