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Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

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free time free time. or how I learned to stop blocking and love the ywheel Ryan Price @liberatr
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Page 1: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

free timefree time..or how I learned

to stop blocking andlove the flywheel

Ryan Price@liberatr

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this is a talk aboutimprov comedy.

intro

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NO!NO!it's about howit's about how

working with othersworking with others

makes the world better.makes the world better.

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we'll talk aboutwe'll talk aboutimprovisersimprovisers

and their trustand their trustin each other.in each other.

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we'll talk aboutwe'll talk aboutprogrammersprogrammers

and their evolvedand their evolvedcollaboration skills.collaboration skills.

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we'll talk aboutwe'll talk aboutcommunitiescommunitiesand how theyand how they

encourageencouragecollaboration.collaboration.

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we'll talk aboutwe'll talk aboutfree timefree time

and how every minuteand how every minutecan make a differencecan make a difference

in the world.in the world.

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when you havewhen you haveaa mission, mission,

even tiny pieceeven tiny pieces ofs offree time matter.free time matter.

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chapter Iyes, and...yes, and...

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it's not aboutit's not about jokes.jokes.

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it's theit's theSTORYSTORYstupid!stupid!

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the stage is set.the stage is set.

the lights come up.the lights come up.

what is yes and?

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BeckyBeckyis doing something.is doing something.

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enterenter Richard. Richard.

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"looks like"looks likethese little pieces ofthese little pieces ofalien skull alien skull and boneand bone

aren't going toaren't going tosweep sweep themselves.themselves.

Richard:

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"pick up a broom"pick up a broomyouyou lazy bum! lazy bum!

this is a bigger messthis is a bigger mess

thanthan last year last year

up atup at Loch Ness! Loch Ness!

Becky:

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in thosein thosethree quick momentsthree quick moments

they establishedthey establisheda whole worlda whole worldof possibilities.of possibilities.

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"Yes, and...""Yes, and..." thethemost importantmost important

concept of improv.concept of improv.

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if one playerif one playermakes anmakes an offer,offer,it is the truth.it is the truth.

Yes, and...

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the next playerthe next playermust build on themust build on the

reality in the scenereality in the scene..

Yes, and...

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nothing is impossible;nothing is impossible;you are hardly self-you are hardly self-

aware.aware.ideas just "flow".ideas just "flow".

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this is a purethis is a pureexpression ofexpression of

human creativity.human creativity.

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the first few offersthe first few offerscreate a set ofcreate a set ofpossibilities topossibilities to

explore.explore.

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shesheis is sweepingsweeping

Becky makes an offer:

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"looks like"looks likethese little pieces ofthese little pieces ofalien skullalien skull and boneand bone

aren't going toaren't going tosweepsweep themselves.themselves.

Richard says yes, and offers:

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"pick up a broom"pick up a broomyou you lazy bum!lazy bum!

this is a bigger messthis is a bigger mess

thanthan last yearlast year

up atup at Loch Ness!Loch Ness!

Becky says yes, and offers:

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whatever happenswhatever happensis built uponis built upon

those first fewthose first few

moments.moments.

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nobody knowsnobody knowswhat will happen,what will happen,

but we havebut we havethe bones ofthe bones of

a great scene.a great scene.

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we create awe create avirtuous circlevirtuous circlethat can buildthat can build

momentummomentum

in the scene.in the scene.

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VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

Sweeping Aliens

Last Year

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improv offersimprov offersgain meaninggain meaning

with the supportwith the supportof other offers.of other offers.

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"stop moving your"stop moving yourarms like that,arms like that,we're fathomswe're fathoms

beneath the oceanbeneath the oceanin scuba gear.in scuba gear.

Richard says NO, and offers:

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Richard isRichard isblockingblocking

Becky's offer.Becky's offer.

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if blockingif blockinghappenshappens later, later,we we loselose more moremomentum.momentum.

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the virtuous circlethe virtuous circle

isis broken. broken.

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one of the only waysone of the only waysto fail at improvto fail at improv

is tois to block or forget block or forgetyour partner's offer.your partner's offer.

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listeninglistening is isessential to successessential to successin an improv scene.in an improv scene.

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this idea livesthis idea livesinin many places. many places.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

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it is all overit is all overmodern culture.modern culture.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

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it is in the bestit is in the bestcomputer programs.computer programs.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

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it is in the world'sit is in the world'sgreat communities.great communities.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

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it is even here atit is even here atthis convention.this convention.

VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

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chapter 2yes, andyes, and

retweet thisretweet this

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you can sayyou can say"yes, and...""yes, and..."to an ideato an idea

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nearlynearlyall communicationall communication

is yes-andedis yes-anded

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if Iif I learnlearn something somethingit is onlyit is only

useful to me.useful to me.

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if Iif I teachteach something somethingit is nowit is now

useful to us.useful to us.

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"He who receives an"He who receives anidea from me,idea from me,

receives instructionreceives instructionhimself withouthimself withoutlessening mine;lessening mine;

Thomas Jefferson

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"as he who lights"as he who lightshis taper at mine,his taper at mine,

receivesreceives lightlightwithout darkeningwithout darkening

me."me."

Thomas Jefferson

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whenwhen more people more peoplehave an idea,have an idea,

it can beit can bemore valuable.more valuable.

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exploration

traveltravel cancanbring ideas frombring ideas fromother lands andother lands andother people.other people.

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apprenticeship

study with astudy with a mentor mentorspreadsspreads best best

practices andpractices and speeds speedsthe learning curve.the learning curve.

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printed + recorded media

readingreadingspreadsspreads ideas across ideas acrossboundaries of timeboundaries of time

and distance.and distance.

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distancedistance was oncewas oncea hurdle to thea hurdle to the

spread of ideas.spread of ideas.

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virtuous circlesvirtuous circlesare easier to groware easier to grow

when distancewhen distanceis reduced.is reduced.

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large citieslarge citieshelped bringhelped bring

minds togetherminds togetherto collaborate.to collaborate.

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"you got"you gotpeanut butterpeanut butter

in my chocolate!in my chocolate!

Reese's Cups Guys

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"The trick to having"The trick to havinggood ideas is not to sitgood ideas is not to sit

around in gloriousaround in gloriousisolation and try toisolation and try to

think big thoughts...think big thoughts...

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

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"... The trick is to get"... The trick is to getmore parts on the table.more parts on the table.

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

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"embrace serendipity;"embrace serendipity;follow the links;follow the links;

frequent liquid networks;frequent liquid networks;borrow, recycle;borrow, recycle;

reinvent;reinvent;

Steven Johnson, Where Good Ideas Come From

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communitiescommunitiesare great incubators,are great incubators,

wherewhere people and people andideas bump intoideas bump into

each other easily.each other easily.

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communitiescommunitiesdevoted to learningdevoted to learninggenerate new ideasgenerate new ideas

quickly.quickly.

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universities

PhD PapersPhD Papersare often createdare often createdwith the help ofwith the help of

entire communities.entire communities.

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telecommunication

radio and TV showsradio and TV showscan spread ideascan spread ideasto more peopleto more people

all at onceall at once..

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in our lifetime,in our lifetime,new meansnew means have have

enabled new waysenabled new waysto spread ideas.to spread ideas.

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sharing onlinesharing onlinereduces distancereduces distance

to near zero.to near zero.

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every time sharingevery time sharinggets easiergets easier

virtuous circlesvirtuous circlesflourish.flourish.

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social media

networks and codenetworks and codemake make sharing PhDsharing PhDpapers as easy aspapers as easy as

sharing cat photos.sharing cat photos.

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blogs and podcasts

amateur publishersamateur publishersshare ideas aboutshare ideas aboutsubjects they havesubjects they have

a passion for.a passion for.

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TEDTED

ideas worth spreadingideas worth spreading

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I can learn fromI can learn froma TED video,a TED video,

but sharing it isbut sharing it is a yes-and move. a yes-and move.

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"why do you care"why do you careso muchso muchif I share?if I share?

You may ask:

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being exposed tobeing exposed tomore new ideasmore new ideasmeans our ownmeans our ownprojects can beprojects can be

made better.made better.

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we have a word forwe have a word forencouraging theencouraging theunfettered flowunfettered flow

of ideas andof ideas andinformation.information.

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we try to encouragewe try to encouragea state of "flow",a state of "flow",

where we say "yes"where we say "yes"to each other'sto each other's

ideas unreservedly.ideas unreservedly.

Brainstorming

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listeninglistening is also is alsoessential toessential tosharingsharing and and

brainstorming.brainstorming.

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you can be listeningyou can be listeningeven when you areeven when you arenot brainstorming.not brainstorming.

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listening is not thelistening is not theonly way to createonly way to create

somethingsomethingmeaningfulmeaningful..

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sometimes beingsometimes beingselfishselfish is still is still

a good way toa good way toget startedget started..

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chapter 3

scratching your own itchscratching your own itch

andminimum viable productminimum viable product

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computer programmingcomputer programmingis not aboutis not about thethe code.code.

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it's aboutit's abouthow you use it.how you use it.

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programmersprogrammersareare optimists. optimists.

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what separateswhat separatesprogrammersprogrammersand all non-and all non-

programmers?programmers?

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given time andgiven time and

a few lines of codea few lines of code

they can solvethey can solve

anyany problem. problem.

programmers believe:

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much of themuch of the

most-used codemost-used code

did not start bydid not start by

trying to solvetrying to solve

big problems.big problems.

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EBay

a site for buyinga site for buyingPEZ dispensers.PEZ dispensers.

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Facebook

a little social networka little social networkfor harvard students.for harvard students.

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Drupal

a site for talkinga site for talkingto friends at college.to friends at college.

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small problemssmall problemshave a lowerhave a lower

barrier to entrybarrier to entryand areand are

more personal.more personal.

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if reshaping theif reshaping theworld is new to you,world is new to you,start close to home.start close to home.

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scratching yourown itch

solving personal problems

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I want toI want toorganize myorganize my

recordrecordcollection.collection.

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MyTunes™

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MyTunes™

just for me.just for me.

no music store.no music store.

just organization.just organization.

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what could it do?what could it do?

what does it need?what does it need?

MyTunes™

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collectcollect.. store. store. view.view.

MyTunes™ features:

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with onlywith onlythree featuresthree features

it scratchesit scratchesmy itch.my itch.

MyTunes™ features:

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minimum viable productminimum viable product

MVPMVP

collect. store. view.

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the least complicatedthe least complicated

way ofway of

scratching your own itch.scratching your own itch.

minimum viable product

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minimum viable product

consider aconsider a

wedding cake.wedding cake.

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what does itwhat does itreally needreally need

to be ato be a

cake?cake?

minimum viable product

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is ais a

still a cake?still a cake?cupcakecupcake

minimum viable product

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picture apicture a

virtual reality game virtual reality game

from the 1990s.from the 1990s.

minimum viable product

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googlegooglecardboardcardboard

minimum viable product

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which of thesewhich of these

is is lesslesscomplicated?complicated?

MVPMVP

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my friendmy friendDamien Damien wantswants

to organizeto organizehis records too.his records too.

MyTunes™

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I can easilyI can easilycopy mycopy mycode code andand

give it to him.give it to him.

MyTunes™

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"this program has"this program hasonly three features?"only three features?"collect. store. view.collect. store. view.

alphabetize?alphabetize?make playlists?make playlists?

MyTunes™

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MyTunes™

if he givesif he givesfeedback,feedback,

I can createI can createnew features.new features.

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MyTunes™

once they areonce they arewritten in code,written in code,

new featuresnew featureshelp both of us.help both of us.

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Darth Vader

"the"the circle circleis nowis now

complete"complete"

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the virtuous circle.the virtuous circle.

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in software,in software,the featuresthe features

are are the ideas.the ideas.

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adding a new featureadding a new featureto an MVP isto an MVP isequivalent toequivalent to

sharing an ideasharing an ideawith all the users.with all the users.

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creating an MVPcreating an MVPstarts astarts a

conversationconversationwith the users.with the users.

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users giveusers givefeedback feedback

and the creatorand the creatorcan respond withcan respond with

new features.new features.

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a feedback loop.a feedback loop.

programmer > user > programmer > user

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a virtuous circle.a virtuous circle.

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a feedback loop.a feedback loop.

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when a programmerwhen a programmeradds a featureadds a feature

from user feedbackfrom user feedbackit is a it is a yes-and move.yes-and move.

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without a without a healthyhealthyfeedback loop,feedback loop,you won't getyou won't get

many new users.many new users.

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without without new users,new users,you won't getyou won't get

new ideas, nor thenew ideas, nor thesame innovation.same innovation.

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listeninglistening is isessentialessential to to

publishing yourpublishing yourMVPMVP..

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a big differencea big differencebetweenbetween

improv and codeimprov and codeis the "undo" button.is the "undo" button.

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one programmerone programmerwho listenswho listenscan makecan make

something amazing.something amazing.

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twotwo programmers programmersworking togetherworking together

can makecan makesomething more.something more.

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chapter 4the flywheel effectthe flywheel effect

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MyTunes™

what ifwhat ifDamien Damien cancanalso writealso write

code?code?

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working togetherworking togetherwe can share ideaswe can share ideas

collaboratively.collaboratively.

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he can becomehe can becomemore thanmore thanjust a user.just a user.

open source software

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MyTunes™

Damien could createDamien could createintegrated programsintegrated programs

or other featuresor other featuresand plugins.and plugins.

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MyTunes™

each plugin is each plugin is another MVPanother MVPwith anotherwith another

feedback loop.feedback loop.

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more than onemore than onefeedback loopfeedback loopwill add utilitywill add utilityby orders ofby orders ofmagnitude.magnitude.

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a flywheel effecta flywheel effectis created whenis created when

two feedback loopstwo feedback loopssupport each other.support each other.

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a flywheel effecta flywheel effectmeans the wholesmeans the wholes

are greaterare greater than the than thesum ofsum of their parts. their parts.

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the Haroldthe Harold

Flywheel Effect

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entirely improvisedentirely improvisedthree-act play;three-act play;

new acts are basednew acts are basedon earlier scenes.on earlier scenes.

the Harold

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the Harold

Scene A Scene B

Scene C

Scene A Scene B

Scene C

Act IAct IIAct III

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improv offersimprov offersgain meaninggain meaning

with the supportwith the supportof other offers.of other offers.

the Harold

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improv scenesimprov scenesgain meaninggain meaning

with the supportwith the supportof other scenes.of other scenes.

the Harold

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acts in a Haroldacts in a Haroldgain meaninggain meaning

with the supportwith the supportof other acts.of other acts.

the Harold

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human actionshuman actionsgain meaninggain meaning

with the supportwith the supportof other actions.of other actions.

Flywheel Effect

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possibilities arepossibilities aremore connected asmore connected as

people becomepeople becomemore connected.more connected.

Flywheel Effect

Page 145: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

communitiescommunitiescritical mass of like-minded peoplecritical mass of like-minded people

Flywheel Effect

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each new personeach new personin a communityin a community

brings with thembrings with themnew ideas.new ideas.

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people and eventspeople and eventsact as act as catalystscatalysts

to flywheel effects.to flywheel effects.

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Flywheel Effect

GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux

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Flywheel Effect

podcastingpodcasting

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Flywheel Effect

open spaceopen space

Page 151: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

Flywheel Effect

BarCampBarCamp

Page 152: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

Flywheel Effect

DrupalCampDrupalCampandand

DrupalConDrupalCon

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Flywheel Effect

Fringe FestivalFringe Festivalandand

Canadian FringeCanadian FringeTouring CircuitTouring Circuit

Page 154: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

Flywheel Effect

coworkingcoworking

Page 155: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

Flywheel Effect

farmer'sfarmer'smarket

East End Market, Artegon, Grandma Party

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Flywheel Effect

48 hour48 hourfilm festfilm fest

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Flywheel Effect

game jamgame jam

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Flywheel Effect

StartupStartupWeekendWeekend

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Flywheel Effect

TEDTEDandand

TEDxTEDx

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Flywheel Effect

KickstarterKickstarterandand

Kicking it ForwardKicking it Forward

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healthy communitieshealthy communitieslike these havelike these havefeedback loopfeedback loopssat their roots.at their roots.

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listeninglistening isis

essentialessential

to all of theseto all of these

flywheel effects.flywheel effects.

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flywheel effectsflywheel effectsalso start when youalso start when you

scratch your own itchscratch your own itchand share the results.and share the results.

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how do all of thesehow do all of thesecommunitiescommunities

create so much value? create so much value?

You ask again:

Page 165: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

they start asthey start aspassion projects,passion projects,by people withby people with

an itch to scratch.an itch to scratch.

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free timefree time

to scratch your own itchto scratch your own itch

Flywheel Effect

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cognitivecognitivesurplussurplus

Clay Shirky

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moving to big citiesmoving to big citiesand specializationand specializationcreated a surpluscreated a surplus

of free time.of free time.

Cognitive Surplus

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new communicationnew communicationtools enabled newtools enabled newways of organizing,ways of organizing,new communitiesnew communitiesof collaboration.of collaboration.

Cognitive Surplus

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"diverting even a tiny"diverting even a tinyfraction of time fromfraction of time from

consumption toconsumption toparticipation can createparticipation can create

enormous positiveenormous positiveeffects.effects.

Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus

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YelpYelporor

AmazonAmazonwithout user reviews?without user reviews?

Cognitive Surplus

Page 172: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

Meetup.comMeetup.comoror

OKCupidOKCupidwithout other users?without other users?

Cognitive Surplus

Page 173: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

FlickrFlickroror

InstagramInstagramwithout other people's photos?without other people's photos?

Cognitive Surplus

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each post iseach post isequivalent to anequivalent to anofferoffer in improvin improv

that you can saythat you can say"yes-and" to."yes-and" to.

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each offer iseach offer isan investmentan investment

of time, totalingof time, totalingbillions of hoursbillions of hours

every yearevery year..

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"why should we"why should weimprove theimprove the

bottom-line ofbottom-line ofthese companies?"these companies?"

you may ask:

Page 177: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

“If you are not“If you are notpaying for it, you’repaying for it, you’renot the customer;not the customer;you’re the productyou’re the product

being sold.”being sold.”

MetaFilter user blue_beetle:

Page 178: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

“If you are not“If you are notpaying for it, you’repaying for it, you’renot the customer;not the customer;

you’re a contributoryou’re a contributoradding value.”adding value.”

Drupal user liberatr:

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“The opposite of play“The opposite of playisn’t work.isn’t work.

It’s depression.”It’s depression.”

Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken

Page 180: Free Time - or - The Flywheel Effect

if you had to beif you had to bepaidpaid for all your for all yourcontributions tocontributions tosociety, society, wouldwould

the world improvethe world improveany faster?any faster?

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conclusion

the futurethe future

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the flywheel effectthe flywheel effectwill changewill changethe worldthe world

as we know it.as we know it.

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post-industrial societypost-industrial societywill be characterizedwill be characterizedby these movements.by these movements.

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"The forces in play in"The forces in play inthe Earth system arethe Earth system are

astronomically massiveastronomically massiveand unimaginablyand unimaginably

complex.complex.

Stewart Brand,Whole Earth Discipline

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"Our participation has"Our participation hasto be subtle andto be subtle and

tentative, and thententative, and thencumulative in acumulative in a

stabilizing direction.stabilizing direction.

Stewart Brand,Whole Earth Discipline

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the millenial takeoverthe millenial takeoverhas little tohas little to do dowith being awith being a

special snowflake.special snowflake.

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the millenial takeoverthe millenial takeoverhas everything to dohas everything to do

with being awith being avalid contributorvalid contributor

in the world.in the world.

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"a tough new [business]"a tough new [business]rule is emerging:rule is emerging:Harness the newHarness the new

collaboration or perish.collaboration or perish.

Don Tapscott & Anthony Williams,Wikinomics

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Phone Trees

sharing informationsharing informationamong aamong a

communitycommunityhierarchically.hierarchically.

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Phone Trees >> Ushahidi

sharing informationsharing informationamong a networkamong a networkof communitiesof communities

with no hierarchy.with no hierarchy.

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LEGO

creating worldscreating worldswith your friendswith your friends

in your living room.in your living room.

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LEGO >> Minecraft

creating worldscreating worldswith your friendswith your friendsaround the globe.around the globe.

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Encyclopedia

one source ofone source ofinformation thatinformation thatmay get updatedmay get updatedannually at best.annually at best.

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Encyclopedia >> Wikipedia

multilingual sourcemultilingual sourceof information thatof information that

gets updatedgets updatedminute-by-minute.minute-by-minute.

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collaboration is acollaboration is askill, which can beskill, which can bestrengthened withstrengthened with

repeat use.repeat use.

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certain people arecertain people arebetter at setting upbetter at setting up

flywheels.flywheels.why?why?

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"...the magic number"...the magic numberfor true expertise:for true expertise:

ten thousand hours.”ten thousand hours.”

Malcom Gladwell, Outliers

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our new generationour new generationhas created manyhas created many

collaboration experts.collaboration experts.

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the flywheel effectthe flywheel effectdoes not occurdoes not occur

in a vacuum.in a vacuum.

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what can a billionwhat can a billionexperts accomplishexperts accomplish

if they workif they worktogether?together?

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"how does this"how does thisapply to me?"apply to me?"

you again!

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think about allthink about allof the free timeof the free time

in the knownin the knownuniverse.universe.

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there are billionsthere are billionsand billions ofand billions of

potentialpotentialcontributors.contributors.

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if you operate inif you operate ina closed manner,a closed manner,

you excludeyou excludeso many possibleso many possible

new offers.new offers.

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there are challengesthere are challengesto face, butto face, but

working togetherworking togethermakes overcomingmakes overcomingthem much easier.them much easier.

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if you leave allif you leave allthe problem solvingthe problem solving

up to "them", youup to "them", youforgo your chanceforgo your chanceto chime in later.to chime in later.

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unless you decide tounless you decide toscratch your own itchscratch your own itchand share the results.and share the results.

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how will youhow will youspend yourspend your

free time?free time?

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free timefree time..community

code andcreativity

Ryan Price@liberatr

www.slides.com/ryanprice

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improimpro

Keith Johnstone

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cognitivecognitivesurplussurplus

Clay Shirky

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reality isreality isbrokenbroken

Jane McGonigal

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wherewheregood ideasgood ideascome fromcome from

Stephen Johnson

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the starfishthe starfishandand

the spiderthe spider

Rod Beckstrom and Ori Brafman

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the powerthe powerof pullof pull

John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Lang Davison

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thetheinnovator'sinnovator's

dilemmadilemma

Clayton M Christensen

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the leanthe leanstartupstartup

Eric Ries

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free timefree time..community

code andcreativity

Ryan Price@liberatr

www.slides.com/ryanprice


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