With Models of Impact, verynice Makes A Difference

When I was chosen to participate in the Code For America Accelerator, it was a pretty good five months. Sure, there was the honor, the money, the great breakfasts in the CfA kitchen, and the networking opportunities. Of course the very best thing was the opportunity I got to work alongside and be mentored by the technology industry’s brightest minds, and most creative people.

Matthew Manos, from verynice, was one of them. He showed up from LA looking a little rumpled and a little tired, and then he started speaking about design. Passionately, sure - everyone at CfA is passionate. But what I liked most was he was speaking about logo design as a process I had never even considered. Matt did a lot of thinking that I found to be original, and I liked the way he thought.

The first thing that he said stuck with me. “Half of the work I do,” he said, “I give away.”

He’s done that since he was 16 years old. He actually wrote a book on the subject, cleverly titled, How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free, which you can read free or buy (Manos wrote another book, Toward a Preemptive Social Enterprise which sells for $5 on Amazon).

And Manos keeps doing it – apparently, a lot: so far verynice, Matthew’s company, has given away $6.27 million in pro bono services – in almost a thousand projects for about 450 beneficiaries.

He’s not just a bleeding heart – we hired him to make the logo for my last company, and we were thrilled with the result (if not the bill). And his company takes paid work from large non-profits, in all fields – I was honored to have participated in a workshop for the American Heart Association that the verynice team put together incredibly well.

Recently Matthew told me about something I find absolutely fantastic: Models of Impact. What the website does is help anyone thinking about a new business in the social impact sector understand better how they can create a business model, and a business.

They provide a glossary of 101 business models, and tools to help entrepreneurs understand their choices through games and workshops, brainstorming ideas, maps, diagrams and more.

You pay what you want.

For anyone seeking to start a social impact business (I did one that was “social-impacty”), the models can be confusing, and getting it wrong can cost you all your work and all your money. Models of Impact defines and teaches about the models so you can really think about the one that is best for what you’re trying to accomplish.

And launching on election day, the new Public Sector Expansion Pack is a new addition targeting those who seek to innovate in government programs: civic innovation practitioners, local and federal government innovation teams, and anyone else who is interested in imagining news ways for government to collaborate with the private sector to be more successful and help more people.

If you like what you see, download it – and don’t be a piker: great projects - and people - like these are worthy of our support.

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Models Of Impact - November 8, 2016 -