Today, we have a legendary conversation with a legendary American Hero, retired 4-Star General, bestselling author, entrepreneur and educator Stan McChrystal. He is the partner of Chris Fussel who was recently on Follow Your Different Episode #149.
We get into these topics: leadership, digital leadership, crisis management, his view on how we got here with COVID19 and how we get out of it. We also discuss the digital divide between the public and private sectors and what we should do about, Pay special attention to The General’s advice for business leaders, State Governors and The President of The United States.
An Experience No One Predicted
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls Stan “perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I ever met.” This was definitely one of the greatest descriptions one could say about him. He is the kind of leader any company would want in their team, especially during these unusual times.
Stan described this coronavirus pandemic as disorienting. It is highly different from most of the crises in our lives. We face an amorphous viral threat and we get affected economically as well/.
“So the average person is going through an experience he probably has never predicted. He got to get his mind around it and not just their own mind, but also their family, their organization and all the people they care about.” – Stan McChrystal
Leadership During Unusual Times
Aside from possessing leadership fundamentals, Stan calls for a different kind of leadership during these unusual times.
“Your organization can have had a strategy you’re very comfortable with that was executing in a set of places. Suddenly that strategy, for any number of reasons, appear to be absolutely invalid now. So the leaders got a role to first, give people a sense of direction and then provide direction. And finally, the leaders got to inspire.” – Stan McChrystal
On Digital Leadership
Christopher asked Stan about the daily video briefings he spearheaded when he was in the military and Stan gave a nice story back in memory lane. He was citing this as one of the best examples of digital leadership especially in times of crisis.
“Out of necessity, we spread our force. That was 2003 and then we realize, how do you synchronize that? We were at the beginning of the technological boom and we latched on the video conferences, laptops and we connected the entire force, every day, for 90 minutes. When I took command, it was 50 people for 30 minutes. Then we opened it to 7500 people for 90 minutes. To some people, it may sound like madness but it was the most efficient thing I’d ever been a part of,” – Stan McChrystal
To know more about the digital divide between the public and private sectors and what we should do about it and The General’s advice for business leaders, State Governors and The President of The United States, download and listen to this episode,
Stan McChrystal is a retired 4-Star US General.
He is best known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the mid-2000s.
His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, United States Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A). He previously served as Director, Joint Staff from August 2008 to June 2009 and as Commander of JSOC from 2003 to 2008, where he was credited with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
General McChrystal founded McChrystal Group in January 2011 to deliver innovative leadership solutions to businesses globally in order to help them transform and succeed in challenging, dynamic environments.
Today, we have a riveting conversation with Sachit Gupta. He’s been in the background helping some of the top podcasters and content creators build their businesses. He’s an expert at building and monetizing digital content.
Recently, he stepped out and built his own podcast Conscious Creators and he wants to help people “Make A Life Through Your Art Without Selling Your Soul.” This conversation is a great opportunity to learn from a sensei in digital content and regardless of what you do,
Second Guessing His Talents
A lot more people are looking at podcasting, webinars, youtube shows, and other digital content of course writing books, as either key parts of their business or an extension to their business. In fact, Christopher personally thinks every brand needs to become a media brand. There is no other time than today to start digital leadership in your respective industry.
For 10 years now, Sachit Gupta had been in the background of content creators or digital leaders. He worked with industry giants like Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, among others. But who would have thought he has always been second-guessing himself in terms of creativity?
“My art wasn’t good enough, so I started doing all these things. I graduated and worked with creators and now what I realized is, because I didn’t think my art was good enough, or my creation, I subconsciously entered a career supporting other creators.” – Sachit Gupta
The Story of the Starving Artist
Christopher asks Sanchit what fascinates him the most. He shares that he has always been fascinated with artists who can remain independent with their craft while still monetizing their talents.
“For me, I think there is a whole story of the starving artist and how creators are always like beholden to big corporations. How can you create and be an independent artist and own your art, own your worth and charge your worth like you can have a career yourself?” – Sachit Gupta
Advice To Content Creators
What are the things most people get stuck with? Sanchit shares that the people whom he works with—creative people, artists, content creators—are still challenged with defining what their message is and to whom is this message for.
“Who’s your market? What are their hopes, fears, and dreams? What are their problems and how do you help them solve the problem?” – Sachit Gupta
To know more about Sanchit Gupta, an expert at building and monetizing digital content, download and listen to this episode.
Sachit Gupta helps amplify Creators (podcasters, authors, etc.) & Brands.
Creators and Brands want the same things — the right audiences, bigger impact; sometimes, even each other. He provides the tools and strategies to create the right connections at the right time that make these needs, reality — easily, instantly. That’s what he means when he say — Connections, Amplified.
Sanchit and his team have worked on campaigns with top podcasters like Andrew Warner (Mixergy) Hiten Shah & Steli Efti (The Startup Chat), #1 NYT best-selling authors (Tim Ferriss, Seth Godin, Oren Klaff), social media influencers (Tessa Arias, Handle The Heat) and international sports stars (Rohit Sharma, Indian Cricket Team).
He also worked with 30+ brands including Pilot.com, Toptal, Pipedrive, HostGator, ActiveCampaign, ahrefs, The 5 Minute Journal, ClickFunnels, Outerknown, Brain.fm and more to create win-win partnerships with Creators.
This is a very special episode and a very different episode. Part 1 was with Intimacy Coach Allana Pratt. Today, for Part 2 in our series on Intimacy and Sex, we welcome Alice Little, legal sex worker and #1 Luxury Companion at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada USA.
We get into it! Why Alice loves her job, why she says it’s all about connection, communication, and intimacy, what it’s like to use her service and why nothing is too kinky!
Job Unlike Any Other
Alice describes herself as a legal sex worker, sex educator, and intimacy expert. She used to travel in the Midwest, educating about sex until she was introduced to brothels. She found out that brothels are a unique place to work. All other sex workers have different work experiences from each other
“My job very much so isn’t just sex. It’s so much more than that. It’s communication, connection, intimacy and teaching people how to love themselves.” – Alice Little
From a different perspective, she shares that one of the things she does is to teach people how to connect to their bodies, through radical self-acceptance. Through the acts of connection with clients, Alice shares it gives them the ability to connect deeper with themselves and appreciate who they are.
When asked what it is liked to have sex with her, Alice nonchalantly shared it’s life-changing.
“Oftentimes it changes the entire way people have sex moving forward. Like when is the last time you asked your partner and say ‘show me what feels nice’ and people say ‘oh shit, I have literally never uttered those words in the bedroom. I barely had sex with the lights on, let alone had a conversation while getting into that’ and I enable people to do that. It is really eye-opening.” – Alice Little
Stigma With Sex
Alice continued to share her views about sex, and she says it is something highly stigmatized in this country. A brothel is a safe place for Alice, where people can ask questions and expect not to be judged. Nothing is taboo and there is no judgment in brothels.
“I’m very, very comfortable helping people and enabling them to explore things that they probably couldn’t in their day to day lives.” – Alice Little
Alice shared a lot about the process of booking appointments, touring the ranch and the types of experiences she offers. Pay special attention to her advice on how we can improve our sex lives. She even talks about how she markets herself and her marketing advice for you.
To listen more about Alice’s advice on intimacy and sex, download and listen to this episode.
Alice Little is the highest-earning sex worker in the United States. Little wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed that she makes $1 million per year from working in Nevada.
Little is a native of Ireland and moved to the U.S. at the age of 5 and grew up in Lond Island, New York. Thanks to her 2017 article, “A Week as a Legal Sex Worker In Mound House, NV, On A $267,000 Salary, and appearances on Tim Ferris’s podcast, Little has become a well-known advocate for sex workers across the world.
Little began her career as a sex worker at the Sagebrush Ranch in 2015. In 2017, Little moved to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch where she was the most booked sex worker in the United States for two years in a row.
Yup, we’re doing it! For this week, we have a two-part special on Intimacy and Sex. In this episode, everyone’s favorite intimacy guru and coach, Allana Pratt.
This conversation is a wonderful, magical mystery tour about intimacy, pain, pleasure, how we actually feel through our hearts, and a lot more! Pay special attention toward the end, when Allana gives her ideas for some fun things to do with your partner on Valentine’s day!
Next episode, watch out for Alice Little, the two-time, #1 Companion of the Year at Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch. It is everything you ever wanted to know about her profession and what she thinks you can do to spice up your sex life.
Valentine’s Day is Stupid
The conversation started off with Allana sharing her thoughts about the upcoming Valentine’s Day. As much as it feels like an obligation for couples to spend, she also shares its a good holiday to make an extra effort for partners.
“I think Valentine’s day is a manufactured, stupid-marketing-hiccup-the-prices-of-roses-and-restaurants and it generally pisses most people off as it feels like an obligation, right?” – Allana Pratt
Every day is Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s day is a great opportunity to remind ourselves that we might have been taking our partners for granted. Allana further shares that if you don’t take time and energy to plan romantic things with your partner, it’s gonna wither. Because of this, she looks at the blessing of Valentine’s day as a reminder.
Christopher also shared his love story in this episode, about how she met her wife Kari and how a similar experience in their lives brought them together. Christopher admits its Valentine’s every day when he is with Kari.
Pain, Heart Over Brain and Others
Allana shares a lot more interesting insights in this episode. Why it is better to feel pain and be humbled earlier in your lives. What intimacy means and how self-love can define how intimate you can become. She also touches a part about the importance of feelings to be able to tap unto different kinds of powers such as strong intuition.
“You can’t think your way to coherence, harmony, kindness, love. You have to feel your way there. That is also been scientifically proven.” – Allana Pratt
To listen more about Allan’s advice on intimacy and sex, download and listen to this episode.
Intimacy Expert, Allana Pratt inspires open-hearted, unapologetic living with delicious sass.
Her inspiring vulnerability and courage has landed her a featured weekly column on the GoodMenProject, featured as an Icon of Influence, and as Guest Expert on The Jenny McCarthy Show, Huffington Post, People Magazine, Forbes, CBS, TLC and FOX.
This cum laude graduate of Columbia University is the Author of 4 books, has interviewed Whoopi Goldberg, Alanis Morissette and Dr. Bernie Seigel and Hosts the edgy Podcast “Intimate Conversations” where listeners learn to thrive after heartbreak and find the relationship they deserve.
A certified coach, Allana was asked by Leeza Gibbons to coach her during Dancing with the Stars. With over 4 million viewers on YouTube, Allana is the go-to authority when struggling to trust again after a harsh breakup so followers can create healthy, thriving intimate relationships with themselves first, which naturally attracts their ideal match.
This is a powerful conversation about mid-life design with Chip Conley. He used to be the CEO of the second-largest based boutique hotel in the US. He then ended up joining Air BNB, to help the young founders of Airbnb navigate their growth in the hospitality category.
Today, we talk about why Chip thinks people at their mid-life need to do a reset. Listen for what Chip calls his “emotional equation” and more ideas, based on Chip’s new book Wisdom at Work.
Boy Wonder to Modern Elder
As we continue our run of legendary authors and entrepreneurs, we converse today with Chip Conley. He’s the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, the second-largest operator of boutique hotels in the United States. He started in 1987 at age 26 and held the position of CEO for nearly 24 years.
In 2010, after having created and managed 50 boutique hotels mostly in California, Conley sold his company. He later joined the young business leaders of Airbnb. Today Air BNB is the company that created and now dominates a new travel category
“I was brought in as the old guy, to help them, because of my hospitality and leadership experience. But they taught me, as much as I taught them.” – Chip Conley
Hard Truths for Midlife Professionals
Chip candidly shares that unfortunately, for a lot of people in midlife and later is, they are not open to being curious.
“They don’t want to look like an idiot at age 45 or 50 and so they’re not actually that open to learning from someone younger than them. Yet, 40% of Americans today have a boss that is younger than them and by the year 2025, the majority of Americans will have a boss younger than them.” – Chip Conley
He further added that we live in an era of digital intelligence. There is an impression that younger people are digital natives. They have more fluency and ability to learn in the digital world, hence tech companies usually hire them for senior roles.
The Modern Elder Academy
People in their midlife often ask, “how do I press the reset button?” Chip shares that one of the reasons why he created the Modern Elder Academy is to have a place for middle age professionals to have a pitstop in their lives.
He stresses the importance of asking the following questions:
“What mastery have I mined? What wisdom have I cultivated and how can I harvest it? How can I repurpose it and frankly, what is it that I really want to do in my life, because I have been living the life that my parents wanted for me to live.” – Chip Conley
To listen more about Chip’s advice to midlife professionals in getting wisdom at work, download and listen to this episode.
The iconic boutique hotelier who helped Airbnb’s founders turn their fast-growing tech start-up into a global hospitality brand, Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author whose manifesto on ageism, Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, is inspired by his experience of being both a mentor and an intern in his 50s.
After selling the company he started as a rebel entrepreneur at age 26, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Chip wasn’t sure what was next. He could have retired at age 52. But the young founders of Airbnb came calling.
He served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy for four years — while also being CEO Brian Chesky’s mentor — and continues today as a Strategic Advisor to the company’s leadership.
While writing Wisdom@Work, Chip was inspired to build the world’s first “midlife wisdom school,” the Modern Elder Academy, with a 3-acre oceanfront campus in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
Chip is an active mentor to six young CEO founders in the hospitality/tech world, and serves on the board of Encore. org and the advisory board for the Stanford Center for Longevity. He believes curiosity is the elixir of life and started learning Spanish and surfing at age 58.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.
Best selling authors of Tribe of Millionaires, David Osborn and Pat Hiban, joins us to share the story behind their new book. We also have a no BS conversation on making money and why its an important fuel to your life.
Beyond money, we also talk about the power of building a tribe of like-minded people — who will support you in your dreams, goals and a lot more.
Tribe of Millionaires
Entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and authors David Osborn and Pat Hiban talk about their new book and the story behind it. Pat candidly shares that Dan Clements helped them put together this book.
“Dan Clements flew to Japan with 27 billbros, members of our mastermind. He listened to each of these members talk. During that time, we masterminded on how to make money and he heard personal stories that we shared.” – Pat Hiban
Dan created Ethan Martinez, the protagonist in the book, from listening to the stories of GoBundance members. GoBundance is a mastermind group for businessmen, who are millionaires. These men get together and share ideas to improve their net worth, health and/or their marriages.
The book Tribe of Millionaires is a fable about Ethan Martinez. He receives a mysterious invitation after the death of his father. He then embarks on an adventure not only to save his struggling business but to discover his past.
“Basically, what happens was, his father dies and he goes to his Dad’s funeral to settle the estate. He hasn’t talked to his father in over 20 years. When he gets there, his father’s pallbearers are all millionaires and multi-billionaires.” – Pat Hiban
Ethan needed to spend a week with these pallbearers on an island before he could inherit the Estate. He then discovers what makes these men successful. Ultimately, he figures out how he can apply these learnings to his life.
Money Fuels Life
David shares how people are more receptive to stories, rather than hard facts. He also adds the importance of spending time with like-minded people who share the same dreams and aspirations.
“You can choose it yourself and put yourself around a lot of people who are on the same journey. That will remind you on a perpetual basis of the greatness you’re choosing. It’s way easier to be great when everyone around you is great.” – David Osborn
Furthermore, he laments how the whole system does not teach kids and adults about making and keeping money. He stresses that money is not everything. However, it allows an individual to create a life that he or she desires.
“Some people think you are a jerk because you talk about money. If you’re doing it with your financial planner, they’ve got an agenda. Me and Pat just have that ability to talk about that wide range of topics including money and being genuinely interested in each other’s well-being. That’s what we’ve created in the tribe too.” – David Osborn
To hear more about how to Build A Tribe of Millionaires and more relevant information about David Osborn and Pat Hiban, download and listen to the episode.
After sticking out his thumb and traveling the world, David returned home to Austin, Texas broke and unemployed, at the age of 26. Though his travels may not have yielded wealth, they instilled the key motivation that he brings to every part of his life to create it — freedom.
Because to have everything you ever wanted takes the opportunity to design your life and believe it can happen.
Through this intention, David began to test his entrepreneurial merits alongside his business-partner mom in the world of real estate. The results were nothing short of remarkable. In less than 10 years, David built one of the top real estate brokerages in the world and he founded over 50 companies.
Yet, more than anything else, the inherent freedom derived from his success awards him the time to focus on the importance on what matters most: being a proud father of two beloved daughters, a son, and husband to the wonderful and talented Traci Osborn.
Today, David continues to travel the world not only to be enlightened by new experiences but to share his insight and expertise with others so they, too, can truly be free.
Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars is a top-ranked, 3-day a week real estate podcast. He interviews the best of the best in and around the real estate industry.
He is also the founder of REBUS UNIVERSITY which trains real estate agents to be successful and men’s mastermind group GoBunbance.
After building a team of over 50 members and making millions in the Real Estate Sales World, Pat realized he had spent over two decades being lead by mentors while growing very few mentees.
It was at this point that he wrote his New York Times Best Selling Book -“6 steps to 7 figures, A Real Estate Professional’s Guide Building Wealth and Creating your Destiny.”
Not too long after, Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars was born.
Pat has not always been a semi-retired, New York Times International Best Selling Author, podcast host, entrepreneur, and billion-dollar real estate agent.
After throwing his graduation cap at Frostburg State University in the summer of 1987 (A long time ago), Pat set out to find that necessary three-letter word…..JOB.
While trying to get his Real Estate license Pat substitute taught in Maryland, where he has lived his entire life.
His first year in Real Estate was…. decent. Selling 10 homes, and taking home $13,700 in commissions Pat knew that he needed more.
At the beginning of his third year in the industry, attending a Floyd Wickman Sweathog Course changed his life, and allowed him to realize that being a listing agent was the way to go. He made a commitment and switched to prospecting regularly for listings by calling up and down every street in town looking for future sellers. BOOM business for him tripled. From there, the sky was the limit.
After spending a few years at Long and Foster Realty, he made a switch to RE/MAX where he spent the next 15 years.
In 2004, he became the #1 RE/MAX agent in the world.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.
Our guest today, Jaime Masters is an entrepreneurial coach and podcasting pioneer. She hosts “Eventual Millionaire” and she shares with us today some fun, practical and insightful learnings on what it takes to become a legendary entrepreneur.
She is an engaging business thinker who has her own quirks (love for costumes) and an amazing mother of two kids who are budding entrepreneurs.
From Tardy to Masters
Jaime Masters hosts the podcast Eventual Millionaire, where Christopher was once invited to promote his first book Play Bigger. She has interviewed close to 500 millionaires and she shares them through her book of the same title, Eventual Millionaire.
Jaime shares with us some funny and serious experiences she had when she started using her maiden name again. The name “Jaime Masters” is now a brand and she admits that she has no further intention of changing her name again, even when she remarries.
“It was something like, looking out when I’m 60, which person do I want to be? Which brand do I want to be building on my life?” – Jaime Masters
Her Kids Attend Entrepreneur School
It was a fun and admirable part of this episode when Jamie shared that her kids, a 12 and 10-year old, go to Entrepreneur School. The school has no homework and grades. They also do not have teachers, instead, they have guides. The school maximizes gamification for their modules.
“They’re learning 2x faster also, which is another thing the school wants. They learn life skills. My son video edited for my clients and is better than the editor that has been with me for 8 years.” – Jaime Masters
Part of teaching life skills, they are set to become entrepreneurs early as they are encouraged to sell products and services during their summer vacation. Jamie’s son went door-to-door with his pressure washer business and her daughter went to sell rosemary to neighbors.
“To me, the best thing about the school is, it’s about grit and pushing you out of your comfort zone. Teaching that at such a young age, not teaching memorization.” – Jaime Masters
Concerns and Motivations of Solopreneurs
Having interviewed around 500 millionaires, Jaime shares the inability to decide whether or not to hire a team is a common concern for them. Jaime further shares her process of assessing and diagnosing her clients’ concerns because sometimes, it is not a “team-problem” but an “owner-problem.”
Furthermore, she acknowledges the fact that most entrepreneurs want progress in their business. She reminded, however, her personal experiences of failing due to the wrong reasons.
“Knowing yourself really, really well is the best thing in entrepreneurship, even though it’s shitty. There are millions of holes that open up but thankfully, the holes to fill it are not achievement and materialism, which you’ll find out if you’re long enough in the game.” – Jaime Masters
To hear more about what motivates entrepreneurs and more relevant information about Jamie, download and listen to the episode. Why not try Wildz Casino free? It’s simple to do: follow the link to the website and you can register instantly using the bonus code that they provide. This online casino is a breath of fresh air in the world of online gambling. It is refreshing to see such a clean-cut and innovative design on an online casino website. Wildz offers players the chance to win big, with top prizes of $50k waiting to be won over and over again.
Jaime Masters is a podcasting pioneer, host of the popular “Eventual Millionaire”, a Business Coach, Keynote Speaker, and Best Selling Author.
She’s been featured on:
CNNMoney, Yahoo’s homepage (6x), Business Insider, Inc, CNN Newsroom, Entrepreneur, Fox Business News, Success Magazine and Christopher Lochhead Follow Your Different.
Today, we have a super fun conversation with Brian Schulmeister, the co-host of Grumpy Old Geeks podcast. We shared stories about music and what it was like doing websites for top bands and names in the industry. Of course, we got our grump on! We talk about what’s in the news: undersea data cables, A.I, data breach and many more!
Websites For Music Artists
Brian Schulmeister is the co-founder of Slender Fungus, a design company working primarily within the music industry. His vast experience in building websites landed him projects with big names such as Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis Morisette, Green Day, Coldplay and Rihanna, among others.
He started his career way back in 1996 and he shared some interesting points on how he went on to pursue clients on his own. He also commented on the music industry at the present time and how consumers are consuming it so poorly.
“The generation now and the way people experience music now is so shallow and disconnected from the artist and its singles. Spotify playlist through horrible headphones, it’s just bad.” – Brian Schulmeister
Grumpy, Angry and Too Depressed
Brian Schulmeister is the co-host of the podcast Grumpy Old Geeks, with Jason DeFelippo. The podcast, which is included in Christopher’s Top 5 list, has originally started as a joke but the hosts later realized they were admittedly angry about a lot of topics. Brian admits he is angry and still is but they try to pepper the episodes with humor.
“The funny thing is at one point I literally wanted to quit the podcast. I felt I was getting too grumpy, too angry, too depressed. I really did. It was shortly after the birth of my child and I started to realize that I really need to have a better outlook in life right now.” – Brian Schulmeister
Let’s Get Our Grump On!
In relation to technology topics, Christopher says that it is easy to be cynical and be fun and grumpy on technology but the reality is, technology has made the world a better place. It has created more opportunities and breakthroughs in the lives of human beings.
“We are at a tipping point right now, at least for technology. We can very easily lose control of sh*t right now. There are some important movements going on right now, the whole data and human rights.” – Brian Schulmeister
Christopher discusses some topics that are on the news such as the 8000 undersea data cables from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, or the data breach at Capital One that allegedly also compromised another 30 companies. They also shared a good laugh about different kinds of farts and shared their reactions about a man collapsing his lungs after a 2-hour karaoke session.
To hear more about the Grumpy Old Geeks Co-Host Brian Schulmeister, download and listen to the episode.
Brian lives in Venice, CA, frequents Toronto and London and has spent a lot of the last 10 years happily living out of a suitcase – and a large backpack filled with laptops, cords, wires and various bits and bobs that bloop and bleep.
He’s the co-founder of Slender Fungus, a design company working primarily within the music industry.
He is also the co-writer with Rob Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls in Amungus, an electronica based music project that’s released an EP and played a few festivals.
Brian started with technology at the dawn of time, even running his own BBS at the age of 13, and has stuck with it since then.
And as the co-host of the wildly popular Grumpy Old Geeks Podcast, needless to say, he’s quite grumpy.
Topics discussed in this Oddcast:
Today’s inspiring guests are from DonorsChoose.org, CEO and Founder Charles Best and entrepreneur Oliver Hurst-Hiller. These two, together with a small group of people, came together and made our world a different place, through crowdfunding.
Donorschoose.org is a non-profit which enables teachers who need help to go straight to the public and seek financial assistance. Charles Best, a former high school teacher turned activist founded the organization. Together with Oliver Hurst-Hiller, the Chief Technology Officer of the org, they have pioneered the category of crowdfunding.
“I was like teachers all over the country. I was spending my own money on school supplies for my students. My colleagues are doing the same. We would talk about all the stuff we want our students to have, but we couldn’t go into our own pockets to buy.” – Charles Best
Merging Technology with Advocacy
Charles Best and Oliver Hurst-Hiller share the current education situation in the US — it is underfunded — and teachers and students need help. In the past, millionaires have been the common benefactors of organizations. Charles, however, thought about regular citizen donors and how their collective power can benefit this cause.
Regular donors will have the ability to pick, choose, donate and hear directly from the beneficiaries. All the donors — whether they donated 50 dollars or 5 million dollarngets the same appreciation, feedback, and transparency direct from their beneficiaries.
“If the internet/technology can enable a regular person giving 50 bucks to have that experience of directness, transparency, reporting and feedback, something magical might happen and 840 million dollars later, I think it has.” – Oliver Hurst-Hiller
The “Philanthropic eBay”
Stanford Business School and Amazon dubbed DonorsChoose.org as “the most innovative non-profit.” The organization is for school front-liners who have an idea or project and is seeking microloans to fund it. The organization connects them to patrons and philanthropists.
“The first news story about our site compared us to a philanthropic eBay. That’s the only parallel that they could draw at that time — with its two-sided marketplace and people connecting.” – Charles Best
Charles Best and Oliver Hurst-Hiller talk more about the organization, crowdfunding. Further, they discussed more on the power-houses backing them up as board of directors. They are Stephen Colbert and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, to name a few.
To hear more about the DonorsChoose.org crowdfunding for good and more information about Charles Best and Oliver Hurst-Hiller, download and listen to the episode.
Charles Best, Founder / CEO
Charles Best leads DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit website that enables anyone to help a classroom in need. He launched the organization in 2000 at a Bronx public high school where he taught history for five years. To date, teachers at more than 80% of all the public schools in America have created classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org, and more than 3 million people have given to those projects.
DonorsChoose.org is one of Oprah Winfrey’s “ultimate favorite things.” It made the cover of Fast Company as one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World.” It is the first time any charity has received such recognition.
Oliver Hurst-Hiller, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Product
Oliver is responsible for the technology and user experience that power DonorsChoose.org’s unique philanthropic marketplace.
Prior to joining the team in 2006, Oliver managed product engineering projects for Microsoft’s new search engine, now called Bing. He helped start Microsoft Live Labs, an applied research laboratory for Internet technologies. Further, he is also the co-inventor of 22 issued U.S. patents related to Internet search technologies.
In 2011, the Microsoft Alumni Foundation honored Oliver with the Integral Fellows Award. He is the Chair of CTOs For Good and on the Advisory Council on Computing & Information Technology for Brown University.