You’ve probably heard of Product/Market Fit. It’s widely seen as the holy grail for just about every early-stage startup — and for good reason.

But what happens when your product doesn’t really feel like a product; when you have a portfolio rather than a product?

And what about when you’re focused not on a specific market with highly specific and aligned pain points, but an audience — where everything feels more fluid and diverse?

When you don’t identify with a singular product or a specific niche market, it’s pretty hard to find product/market fit.

If you’ve got a portfolio of…

The Playbook (image: the lantern)

In our overwhelming world, entertainment provides much-needed escape. People become engrossed in entirely different worlds as a way to deal with life’s stresses. We immerse ourselves in games, books, social media, or the latest binge-worthy TV series.

Yet we’re also seeking to improve our lives and find ways forward, especially in challenging times.

Lifting the curtain on other people’s ideas, successes and ideals is one of the most compelling ways to get inspiration and momentum for our own journeys, while simultaneously quenching a thirst to get the inside track and go behind the scenes.

Netflix documentary series The Playbook aims…

In the latest installment of his ‘Akimbo’ podcast, Seth Godin switched it up.

On the surface, nothing was different. As always, there were no guests. Very little editing. The episode was the usual 20 minutes or so.

So, what changed?

This one was a listicle (or whatever the name is for a podcast version).

The Zoom Revolution: 18 ideas how Zoom can — and will — change everything.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the Zoom revolution and its knock-on effects. And like Seth, I’m certain that Zoom is rarely used properly.

There’s a huge amount of…

Using time and magic to bring workshops to life

the first video I got deep into… Time and Magik

The economy is rapidly evolving into a ‘connection economy’: an economy that rewards value created by building relationships and fostering connections. This economy rewards those who know how to build leverage.

Leverage used to be associated with investing capital, utilizing complex financial instruments, or hiring more people to do the (dirty) work.

Now it’s available through products (whether physical products like suitcases or watches, or digital courses and apps) and media (podcasts, YouTube channels, Twitter feeds, newsletters, and so on).

If you’re looking for leverage and connection in the connection economy…

In week one of the first edition of our Workshop Creator program, we sent out a few thought starters to our cohort of participants.

One of these was a brief slide deck on Audience and Topic Ideation.

It was one small asset before the main program started; a tiny canapé before the appetizers and entree.

We knew it mattered, but as the program unfolded, we realised this little canapé deserved its own place on the menu.

A key part of our workshop creation journey is the design phase, and a key part of the design phase is that canapé —…

Imagine yourself telling a story. Any story you like.

Picture where you are and what’s happening.

Perhaps you’re in a small cabin, writing that novel you always had in your mind; working diligently in the writers’ room for a new TV show; crafting the next breakout Broadway hit; or standing on stage as you share an amusing anecdote.

Whenever we’re creating and crafting a story, there are lots of questions an audience may have that the creator — the storycrafter — has to consider.

If you think about it, the storycrafter has to surface and answer a lot of these…

One of the best things about workshops is the ability to mix and match ideas, formats, activities, and themes.

We can shift from one lane to another; bring in different concepts; sprinkle in story; encourage exploration.

Workshops are a responsive space where change happens.

However, it gets a little more challenging when we move things online.

The tension between order and chaos shows up more easily, and the flexible frame we use can start to feel rigid and brittle.

We may be tempted to revert back to the ways of old, those crutches we once used; grafting what was a…

Earlier this week I spoke with a new friend who’s taking a look at what’s next in his career journey.

He had a pretty good idea of his plan: taking his existing skill set and previous work experiences and synthesizing them into learning materials that could help others become better in their field.

The obvious next step was to build an online course.

However, there was something missing. He felt overwhelmed, uncertain. There was a challenge to overcome. And it felt a like a huge weight on his back.

I was a little surprised; he worked at one of the…

In the first part of this guide, I covered the advance setup of the workshop on Zoom. Now it’s time for the exciting stuff — running the workshop itself.

Note: As a reminder, this post doesn’t cover all the design aspects of a workshop (you can join our Workshop Creator cohort for lots on that), but there are a bunch of tips to get the most out of Zoom.

Ready to go? Let’s do it…

Before the workshop

Preparation

At the end of part 1 we got the Zoom registration link set up. Hopefully by now you’ve had a bunch of notification emails hitting…

Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series. Part 2 is here >

Over the last couple of months, I’ve run a lot of interactive workshop sessions using Zoom — including all the live sessions in the Workshop Creator program, as well as the free Express versions of the program that run in a fast-paced 90 minutes timeframe.

While live sessions within a large program tend to have enrolment and connection already forged and fostered, a one-off live online workshop has a different dynamic, and needs a different approach.

A lot of people in the Express sessions said…

Howard Gray

Adventures in entertainment, education and entrepreneurial endeavours. I’m an educator, coach and project builder based in NYC.

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