Coming soon: ‘Mission (Almost) Completed’

mission_almost_completed_finalArtwork by Arto Heikkinen

Mission (Almost) Completed‘ – a short story by Matthew D. Benson, to be published soon by Fantastic Books Publishing, as part of the ‘Elite Anthology: Tales from the Frontier‘, to accompany the release of the ‘Elite: Dangerous‘ computer game, by Frontier Developments plc.

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(Re)discovering communities

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Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/franckreporter

Over the past couple of years I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about innovation and creativity. Much of that circled around the power of collaboration, and the benefits of homogeneous and heterogenous teams, something that I also spent time thinking about during my MBA, when reading about (corporate) organisational structures.

Since then I’ve developed some of these thoughts, to contemplate ‘communities’.  The drivers of that have been situations where I have seen very passionate communities achieve incredible things, often without formal leaders (though informal ‘leaders’ often become apparent), as well as situations where communities have not formed,  but were they to do so, I believe, might have incredible power that might not be possible through more formal efforts (teams, leadership, extrinsic incentivisation, etc.).

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Keep Calm and Carry Beam Lasers

Just a bit of fun, in the Elite forums ….

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Being drawn into the web

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Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/joruba

I tend to be quite active on the internet, and yet I sometimes find myself in a quandary – should I submit a blog post, or add a comment on another web-site or not. This post tries to better understand the various aspects of that decision moment.

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“Adler smoothie” (green smoothie recipe)

Smoothie

I’ve been experimenting with some green smoothie recipes – while I looked a few up on the internet, I’ve generally just used them for inspiration, and not really followed any of them.

I’ve named this one in commemoration of Eintracht Frankfurt football club (nickname, ‘die Adler‘ / the Eagles), after their fantastic 2012/13 season performance – they drew 2-2 with Vfl Wolfsburg this afternoon to achieve qualification for the Europa League (season 2013/14). Nice job!

Ok, back to the smoothie. Quite simply, I just stuck all the ingredients in the blender. Here’s the recipe:

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Venture capital goes ‘public’?

Elite_Dangerous_artwork

I recently wrote a blog post about crowdfunding (‘Kickstarter capitalism‘). In that post I largely reflected the perceptions of a typical ‘backer’ (or, one might say, ‘investor’) in crowdfunded initiatives – that is, someone like me. I’ve become enthused about how crowdfunding can help bring new creative ideas to life, when otherwise they might never have been funded; I’ve also bascked a number of such ‘projects’.

Once that post was published, I realized that there were still aspects that I wanted to address, particularly relating to the perspectives of crowdfunding from the view of a potential raiser of funds / project ‘creator’. I’ve not yet ‘created’ my own project on Kickstarter, but I have ‘participated’ in the creation of a project with a group (a consortium?!) of other individuals (more on that in a another post at another time!).

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Kickstarter capitalism

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Extract of screenshot from Kickstarter project “CST-01: The World’s Thinnest Watch” by Central Standard Timing [screenshot taken on January 10, 2013]

Crowdfunding‘ (or crowdsourced funding) isn’t new, but it took a leap forward in 2012 as people became more familiar with websites like Kickstarter (possibly the most well known crowdfunding site), Indiegogo, Pozible, Rockethub, Sponsume, and others.

The pure concept of crowdfunding is very interesting. In some ways it goes right to the the very core of capitalism, using the internet to apply specific marketing concepts. In other ways it raises ethical questions about financing of projects. On the face of it, it’s a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs, artists, individuals, and dreamers.

I’ve recently ‘invested’ in a number of crowdfunding projects, and have for a while wanted to note down some of my thoughts about the emotions that it evokes.

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