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  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    About Poke the BoxPoke the Boxis Seth Godins latest book and the rst book coming to you rom Te Domino Project, a pioneeringpublishing venture launched by Seth and powered by Amazon. Poke the Boxis a book about taking initiative, a rststep toward creating change.

    About this eBookSXSW Pokes includes 50 o the best anecdotes about taking initiative rom ambitious doers at SXSW. People whostart projects, make a ruckus, and take what eels like a risk.

    Tese juicy anecdotes are written by leaders rom around the web. Each contributor is responsible or her own story,and no endorsement or act-checking is implied. Your mileage may vary.

    Feel ree to share this and send it to everyone who needs to read it. Even better, write your own ri and post itsomewhere. Go, go, go.

    A special thanks to Becky Johns and CC Chapman or sprucing up this eBook with their great SXSW shots.

    Hint: click the cover to your le to learn more about Poke the Box.

    SXSW Pokes50 about making a ruckusstories
  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    If you get in the habit of shippingthings, of making a difference and

    of poking the box, thats your doing,and the rest of us will take pleasure

    in enjoying the fruits of your bravery.

    Seth Godin

  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    Rob Wu

    Tis is my second time at SXSW. I expected the usualinteresting sessions, lots o networking,and good ol exas BBQ.

    Tere are ar greater things.

    On the morning o the rst day o SXSW, I saw the jaw-dropping photos and videos rom theJapan tsunami disaster. Te news agencies were reporting that hundreds o people have diedand thousands were missing. In addition, earthquakes and potential nuclear reactor meltdownsposed serious threats to an already disaster-torn country.

    Something needed to be done quickly. Without hesitating, I set up an online undraising site torally the SXSW community around the cause.

    Later that aernoon, we launched a ull campaign at with a ew collabora-tors. Our hope is to leverage the inuence o the SXSW community to raise $10,000 or disasterrelie.

    At the close o the second day, weve beat our goal and have raised over $12,000 through theSXSW community. Its hard to stay what the end result will be, but this could be the start o amovement.
  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    Thomas Edwards Jr

    Trough spending a lot o time working on becoming a better person, many people looked tome or advice on how they could do it themselves. I was so passionate about personal develop-ment I just wanted to help as best as I could. I didnt realize there was an opportunity to make aliving rom it - until one night in Austin, exas.

    While I was at SXSW 2009 (rst time), I was out with a riend at a bar. He saw a really attrac-tive woman across the way, wanted me to be his wingman and introduce him to her. I couldntunderstand why he couldnt do it himsel but I wanted to help him.

    Jokingly, I asked him i hed pay or my next drink. He responded, saying i he was able to get her

    number, hed pay or my drinks the rest o the conerence. With more o an incentive, I intro-duced him to her, he got the number and went on a lunch date with her the next day.

    My drinks were paid or and a business was born.
  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    Brian Schechter

    In the spring o 2009, we were hiking these goat paths along the Agean Sea in urkey. Wed justturned 30 and aer a decade o directing 99% or our ocus towards urban education and medita-tion, we decided to do something totally new. Our discussions were about two things: 1) build-ing a social network that would be all about making lie better, (not a new outlet or narcissism)and 2) modern romance.

    Tese two ideas intermingled, at times. But mostly, our time was spent designing a website(in our minds and on butcher paper) and writing a play about relationships. Trough it a ll westarted to see an underlying theme: our g eneration the generation that nurtured Facebook,made political activeness cool again, and who is shaping a undamentally new way to dissemi-

    nate inormation, hasnt managed to modernize one o our most precious pursuits: nding love.While our lives were busy, vibrant, and active, the process or nding love hadnt been updatedto match our needs: our riends were getting older and the traditional dating sites elt too ormaland staidit was nothing either o us could ever see ourselves actually doing.

    So upon returning to the states and having the reality o time which sort o reezes while trav-eling become urgent, one o us turned to the other and said: What i there was just a datingsite where people actually just posted the dates they wanted to go on?

    Um, thats a really good idea.

    And so, HowAboutWe was born.
  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    Dane Sanders

    Te college oered ree photography classes to proessors, so I signed uper, signed my lie away.One day youre 30-something working sti with a secure Ivory ower gig and a growing amilyand the next youre a struggling photographer umbling in the dark. But, I used my insecurity tomy advantage. I interviewed photographers and businesspeople who were better at the job thanI was. I wrote up the interviews and posted them online. I l istened. I learned. People appreci-ated my candor. My chin lied. I was booked. A ew years later, I woke up in the middle o thenight with a story about a proessor who became a successul photographer who wanted to helppeople like him through transitions into the creative world. I sel-published the book and thenRandom House published it too, and its sequel. Step to the ledge and you will be seen.
  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    If you are the only

    one getting in

    your own way ofgoing after your

    dreams, stop

    and realize thatyou are the last

    person who should

    be doing that!

    C.C. Chapman

  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    Melissa Pierce

    Tree years ago, I had questions about living a passionate lie without a plan that nobody I knewcould answer. Most o the thought leaders I contacted reerred me to interviews they had givenor books they had written, which didnt really help answer my questions either, but did g ive mea great idea.

    Without any journalistic or lmmaking experience, I picked up a camera and started to make adocumentary lm about my search. I met and interviewed amazing people about passionate liv-ing, creativity, serendipity, and the benets o l iving an unplanned lie, all while homeschoolingmy three children.

    oday, my documentary, Lie in Perpetual Beta, is a become a series, has screened across thecountry and has even won a ew lm estival awards! Its available to buy as a DVD and peoplerom all over the world can watch it online or ree and be inspired by something I made!
  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    Cindy Gallop

    Im an action-oriented person oen rustrated by too much talking around me and too littledoing. I realized suddenly one day (on vacation on a beach in Belize) that the single biggest poolo untapped natural resource in this world, is human good intentions that never translate intoaction. My background in advertising made me realize theres another massive untapped pool -corporate good intentions. Companies nd it as dicult as people to act on intention, quickly,easily and simply, but importantly in a way that makes sense or, and drives, their business. So Istarted I WeRanTeWorld - a simple web-meets-world platorm that turns human and cor-porate good intentions into collective action, one microaction at a time, and is designed to doexactly what Poke Te Boxdoes - make shit happen. :)
  • 8/7/2019 SXSW Pokes


    Andy Drish

    Boss - I want to go part time.

    Tats what I told my boss the day I got back rom SXSW last year. I spent the weekend hangingout with crazy, awesome young people who were changing the world... while I was still stuck inmy cube i