Here are some ideas I have been mulling over. Feel free to comment here and add feedback, thoughts, anything at all. You are welcome to add ideas or notes here or email me directly at I support the open sharing of best practices amongst individuals, enterprises and society at large.

I believe that the marginal cost of mobility is about to plunge in a similar fashion to what is happening with solar and batteries. The 2 billion cars that inhabit the earth are only used 5% of the time from what I have read. Imagine the impact on cost of mobility if that moved to 20% simply by filling more seats in existing cars or dare I say 50%. I bet that Telsa's self driving mobility concept will blow these numbers out of the water. Then if those better utilized modes of transportation can be build with a dramatically low ecological footprint we get a double whammy in terms of social and environmental impact. That is why I am starting a bamboo bike company utilizing the Earth Trust concept that I describe below.

I am in the process of launching a bamboo electric bike company here in Bali and I was thinking how cool it would be to have a bamboo bike diary to track the life of a particular bike. A Bikebook if you will Mark & Sheryl. A space where a thing has the opportunity to tell its own story. Where did it start? Who built it? What was its path to its current location. In this bike example "Riders" could request to ride a particular bike or find an available share bike nearby. People could share their routes and stories. Ideally the ride time of bikes would go up as they take on a life of their own. Bikes are one of the more ecologically friendly modes of transportation and tapping into the social power of sharing could increase the amount people ride, the amount of time a bike is moving vs. sitting still all while having a ton of fun. We are going to do the first one with John Hardy's bamboo bike at Bambu Indah that was made in Zambia by Zambikes in collaboration with Bamboosero and Craig Calfee. I will update a link to that once it is in place. That then led me to think that this could apply to anything, hence the Social Media of Things!

What if we committed to having free organic non-gmo vegetable juice available for every child everywhere in the world? We could start a with juicer in every classroom. I am a daily juicer and whenever the boys have friends over and we invite them to juice with us, they not only love the process but also the juice. If kids are involved in the process of making the juice they are much more likely to enjoy it. They might even take it home and influence their parents. In term of helping the environment, there is nothing more impactful that we can do than shifting more toward an organic plant-based diet. I see fresh healthy vegetable juices (with a small amount of fruit to sweeten it up) as a gateway food toward a more nutritious diet. Most people find it hard to consume lots of vegetables, however, a well made green is an easy way to start this transition.

A place where we can donate money directly to artists who we love. We all know many artists that have not been adequately compensated for their music. What if there was a place where we could simply make a donation to someone whose music has touched us deeply? It could reach support musicians and perhaps even the recording team credited to an album as well. Kind of Blue is a great example of an album that has touched millions yet the artists except Miles received next to nothing. In the case where the artists are no longer with us the money could be directed to a music education trust to provide scholarships and support to up and coming musicians. As gifts these donations would be non-taxable so the artists would get the maximum benefit. There would need to be some minimal administrative fee to maintain the site and help coordinate any logistics related to uploading the artist/album/support team information, however, I imagine there would be many people, musicians included, who would be willing to chip in and donate some time to make this work.

I am in the process of launching a new enterprise whose mission is to "continuously improve the wellness of the planet and all of its inhabitants with vegetables and high fidelity music." It is going to be a different sort of company. It is not going to have shareholders, in fact the Earth will be the only shareholder. Team members will be paid at a minimum of two times the prevailing minimum wage of the region and the difference between the top paid person and the lowest paid person will not exceed four times. It will be built upon "lean principles" and strive for full transparency. For instance, financial statements will be made available publicly with read-only access in realtime. Capital will be put towards scaleable, sustainable proven models with all "profits" being reinvested into delivering more value to customers and developing team members ability to do that better. Short term "green" bonds will be issued to fund the proven models that require significant upfront capital investments. Trust based exchanges will be used instead of "currency" transactions whenever possible. For instance, perhaps you would like to deliver training to our team members in exchange for free cold-pressed juice! That's the structure. The initial product is cold-pressed vegetable juice. One of the best things we can do to improve the wellness of the planet and its inhabitants is to grow and consume more organic non-gmo vegetables and plant-based foods. We are going to serve as many of these as possible as quickly as we can while striving to continually improve quality and freshness (farm-to-mouth will be a key metric) and respect all participants in the value stream. Ultimately we will deliver these in environments that are super chill and infused with the type of high fidelity sounds that Neil Young and Pono are just starting to re-introduce to the world. "Servers" will not only provide amazing cold-pressed juices but also strive to raise awareness, listen, learn and share with every interaction. I love the way my good friend Chris Mann of Guayakí Sustainable Rainforest Products summed it up..."Stay in touch as your ideas evolve on the soundscape juice and nutrition bar. Could even be the alternative to a night club….great music and great people getting high on hyper nutritious food/drink and conscious vibes!" Right on!

We have begun testing ways to deliver work instruction just-in-time to our team members on our sweater cells at Wooden Ships and the results so far have been staggering. We were previously delivery batches of instructions on how to make an individual sweater which required the artisan to either have an exceptional memory in order to be able to make a large variety of different sweaters or they needed to constantly reference the work instructions in order to complete the work. This broke their concentration and resulted frequently in delays, mistakes and re-work. Delivering the instructions just-in-time increases the ability to quickly and efficiently process the information and remain focussed on the crafting of a beautiful sweater. This concept applies to the delivery of just about any work instruction or information. I am going to publish an article on our findings once we have completed the initial experiments however I throw this out now as food for thought as I believe this is a very powerful concept.

I am seeing the emergence of a new economy that is built upon the platform of trust. The cloud computing platform is one of the early manifestations of this movement with companies like taking the lead. Imagine all of the resources that could be freed up if our relationships with colleagues, partners, customers and suppliers were based upon unconditional trust. Many of the people I have shared this idea with laugh and say it is an unrealistic utopian pipe dream. Maybe. But don't we strive toward zero rejects in quality and look at the innovation that has driven. We may never get there but it gives us a True North to point toward. Take a look at every relationship you have and every transaction you require (billing, auditing, contracts, etc.) and ask how that could be simplified or improved if it was built upon a foundation of trust. The possibilities are enormous.

Bamboo yarn has the potential to be the world's most sustainable yarn. Most of the bamboo yarn being made today uses strong chemical solvents that raise both health and environmental concerns. Bamboo yarn can be made "mechanically" by crushing the bamboo, applying natural enzymes and then combing out and spinning the natural fibers. This process is exceptionally environmentally friendly but not yet commercially viable or affordable. I launched The Bambo Yarn Project in May 2012 in order to bring together a team of people to figure out how to make naturally (mechanically) processed bamboo yarn accessible and affordable.
Create a non-profit investment trust that supports companies that are built on the foundational principles of Lean, Vipassana and Enlightened Hospitality. Watch out!!

I am intrigued with the idea of trust as a currency. All of our modern currencies require trust to function properly. However, the relationship between trust and the hard currency is complicated and often dis-functional. What would happen if this were simplified and trust simply became the currency?

We finally converted to Google Apps in 2010 and I couldn't be happier. We have created a Learning Center in Sites for Wooden Ships that is growing organically with broader participation than ever before and total transparency. We have an internal standard at our company called the 5 Second Rule. If you can't find something in 5 seconds, be it a physical object or a piece of information, it is not properly organized and we then should apply the 5S process. The power of Googles search technology applied to corporate and personal information is incredibly powerful and is allowing us to move closer to achieving this 5 second target. We have also moved much of our corporate data into the cloud via Google Documents and Spreadsheets and have been amazed at how much better the collaboration and sharing has been. Google spreadsheets are weak as compared to Excel, however, most of the sheets we use don't require the advanced features of excel, or if they do, they don't need to. We continue to use Excel where necessary but convert as much of the remaining data as possible. At $50/user/year Google Apps delivers amazing value.

As I have been working on the touch screen order pad system development I have been trying to work within a very tight set of constraints as recommended by 37Signals. This led me to the idea of a One Page Website (OPW). In the way that a Toyota style A3 report forces you to boil things down to the essentials, why not create a single page website. You would be forced to really choose carefully and only address a very narrow subject but with great precision. Tell the whole story on one page, period. I think this format could drive accelerated innovation as we embrace constraints. Eight months ago I started using a spiral grid 8-1/2 x 11 binder for all my notes. I limit myself to one page per day which forces me to pick carefully where I will spend my time. I have never been more productive in all my life. Embrace those constraints!

I want to find a touch screen order entry system, similar to the POS systems used by restaurants, to take orders both on our website and at trade shows. It would be image driven...touch the sweater image and see all sweaters...touch the ballet 3/4 top and see the colors and sizes. Fast and easy. Could be run on an I Pad or any touch screen.
11/20/2010 - I haven't been able to find it so I'm going to develop it myself. The concept is getting great feedback.
12/05/2010 - Gaining momentum. Launch date set for January 9, 2011. Getting Real by 37Signals ( is a great primer on web app development.
3/12/2011 - Crashed and burned on the order pad but re-directed to Kugamon/Salesforce!!
11/11/2012 - As I sat through the post Hurricane Sandy days at the one restaurant and bar that I found open in midtown, The Breslin, I again noted the ease and speed with which restaurant POS systems work. It seems like it should be simple to replace the icons with images of sweaters or accessories and have a simple touch based order experience built upon this existing platform. I am going to figure out how to make this happen.

Over the past three years, one-by-one, I have been replacing computer driven processes in our factory with paper-and-pencil manual systems and not once has productivity dropped. In fact in every case the quality, productivity, ease of work and morale have improved considerably. Go figure!
11/10/2010 update - I turned off the computers in our factory for all internal production processes and reduced our days to close orders from 15 to 3 in less than two months. Go figure again.
11/11/2012 - we are still operating without the computers and have the days to close down to 13 hours now!!

Concept - blend the philosophies of Lean and Enlightened Hospitality to create an exceptional people focused organization.
While Lean talks about delivering what a customer wants, when they want it, Enlightened Hospitality talks about how the way you deliver that product or service can enhance the customer experience and simply make them feel great. Put the two together at every level of an organization and imagine the WOW experience!
10/31/2012 - reached out to Danny Meyer via the Union Group Hospitality Group with the hope of meeting to discuss this concept and also inquiring about how they use their POS to better understand and serve their customers.

Concept - utilize the rhythmic qualities of knitting (or other work for that matter) to create a more enjoyable and efficient work place.
I have been testing synchronized knitting as a way to improve productivity while making the work more fun. The idea is to have a group of knitters start at the same time and knit in synch. We used a dedicated person to serve the role similar to a coxswain in crew. They call the starts and try to keep the group together and help trouble shoot the problems that emerge in real time. The camaraderie that started to develop with the initial tests was great and the productivity was way up. I want to take the concept of Takt time but translate it somehow in a more musical sense.

Concept - create a space where music and art can be created collaboratively in the same way wikipedia was created.
You could have a page with a grid for four instruments. One person lays down a bass track. Anyone else is free to come in and add a second track of drums or guitar. The music evolves while the history records the creative process. I don't think this has ever been done on a large scale and it would yield fascinating results. The same would be true for art. Image a blank page where anyone can add a single brush stroke. The art is a living evolving work that is not owned by anyone. Photo collages would also be really cool and fun to do. You could have grids of any size (2X2, 4X8, 10X10, etc) and anyone could drop a image into one of the boxes. Overlay music on top of the art and it creates yet another dimension to this process. Each subsequent update becomes a frame in what could become a streaming video/movie. The process could also be interactive in a movie theater type environment. The idea being to have real interactions, not just digital. Collaborative creativity in realtime.

Concept - create a brand that designates a space that is free from electronic noise such as cell phones, computers, tv's, radios, advertising, etc.
I am always amazed at the prevalence of the electronic noise that I encounter outside of Indonesia. We arrive in NY and cable news is everywhere. Advertisements bombard you non-stop. Wouldn't it be great to have more quite spaces carved out even in the midst of busy cities where you could go and have some peace and quite. Churches, public libraries and the remote areas in nature usually provide this but I think it could also be achieved in restaurants, bars, stores and other gathering places where desired.
11/10/2010 follow-up - some friends pointed out that this is what nature is for. Still I wouldn't mind some quieter spaces in other areas such as cities.