Posts tagged ‘Entrepreneurship’

It’ll Grow While You Sleep!

tom_green_face_biggerPenned by Tom

In his fantastic interview with Doostang, Nick mentioned that one day, long beyond his time at Bright Green Talent (we hope), he’d like to be the San Francisco City and Parks Commissioner. As I strolled around Golden Gate Park this sunny weekend, I mused on this. Typical to Nick, it’s a thoughtful, somewhat eccentric ambition. The Monty Python Song, ‘I’m a lumberjack’ rolled around in my head. Nick possesses a commanding eloquence, huge intelligence and a incredible way with business. As such, my initial reaction was typical of the modern age – that he should aim higher… for mayor, governor or beyond. Yet the more I sat with it, the more this ambition made sense.

As I meandered through the park, I came across the Botanical Gardens. They reminded me of one of my favourite places on earth – the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh – in both layout and style. Sure enough, when I looked up the park’s history, the Garden’s developer John McLaren, received his training in Edinburgh’s eden. His biography brought home to me the depth and meaning behind Nick’s ambition. John was ‘the best loved man in San Francisco’, according to one source. He lived in house in the park and spent time amongst nature every day. He earned enough prestige and admiration to become one of the ‘greatest Scots of all time’. He has left a beautiful, indelible mark on the city for thousands and thousands of people to enjoy for years, long beyond his death. He achieved his dream, to plant a redwood grove. Like Lord Iveagh, who donated Kenwood House to the people of London (where I spent many happy days as a child), his legacy leaves the inhabitants of this city with indelible memories of time spent within his park. Surely there can be no greater ambition than that? It might not seem the most glamourous job in the world, but could it be one of the most rewarding?

John McLaren is said to have planted over 2 million trees in his lifetime. Hopefully Bright Green Talent will also achieve that one day, as we plant a tree for each and every candidate we place . My favourite part of his biography is the advice his father gave him: “Me boy, if ye have nothing to do, go plant a tree and it’ll grow while ye sleep.” Surely a job which leaves a growing legacy that benefits many thousands of people long after you’re gone is something we should all aim for.

My own ambition is to become the CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It’s perhaps a more obvious choice which, until Nick’s captured my attention, has long been my ‘best job in the world’. Perhaps I take a leaf out of Nick’s park and aim for something humbler, yet equally meaningful.


April 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

Paul’s TV Interview on San Diego News Network

Paul made the media rounds during Earth Week as everyone was wondering where green jobs are and whether they’ll live up to all the hype. Paul speaks here with San Diego News Network; he also spoke on Saturday at the San Diego Green Careers Conference.

April 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

Can Social Media Lead to a Green Job? A Tweet for Thought.

mattpenned by Matt

Here at Bright Green Talent, we talk a lot about social media. We try to figure out how to use the tools at our disposal to best reach our audience. At a social media webinar last week focusing mostly on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, the moderator asserted that the more connections that you have through these outlets, the closer you get to reaching your target audience (based on 6 degrees of separation) – whoever that may be (a potential customer, employer, etc.).

But can social media be green?

This question struck me while working on a Pottery Barn photo shoot this week (I work occasionally for them while I career transition – see last week’s post on how to transition into a green career) producing their print catalog (the ones you may get in the mail every season).

Although I have been working with this client on and off for a few years, things had dramatically changed this time; a morning debriefing session revealed that 80% of their product sales (sofas, tables, bedding, etc.) were purchased online. During this morning meeting, a flurry of keywords and web 2.0 concepts (pre-coffee, mind you!) was dropped on us: Blogs, Tweets, Search Engine Optimization, YouTube, Owning a Category for Search-ability on Sofas, etc.

Now since this is exactly what I have been working on with Bright Green Talent, I got excited, but my enthusiasm didn’t stop there…

You have to realize that Pottery Barn is quite a conservative organization and has been resistant to change for many years — it’s a subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma Inc. and very large, with over 200 stores nationwide and millions of $ in annual revenue. It didn’t always used to be sales ratio of 80-20 (internet-catalog) — in fact it used to be the exact opposite. The mail order catalog has been integral to Pottery Barn’s past success, filled with enticing images of fine living that are very effective at selling LOTS of product. Now, although times are tough in retail, Pottery Barn is still a robust company with a surprisingly nimble quality – they may be late adopters to such things as digital photography and e-commerce, but once they move, they move fast.

And fast they are moving to (what I can see will be) the elimination of the paper catalog completely, replacing it with e-commerce and interactive web tools. We are seeing this trend with all forms of printed word, including newspapers and magazines. All of these businesses are trying to reinvent themselves – to become more transparent, more authentic, and more engaged with their audience. Not only is this a better option for all the trees of the world (Pottery Barn puts out tens of millions of catalogs a year), it also opens up a HUGE opportunity for a generation of facebook-savvy social media web nerds.

I can only imagine that there is a team of web gurus, leading the “new” Pottery Barn through the darkness that is social media and e-commerce. You may think that this is a waste of time or not really sure how to use it, but the numbers do not lie…Facebook  reaches 79 million/month, LinkedIn has 30 million professionals, Twitter reaches 6.1 million/month, YouTube – 80 million/month (Quantcast).

If you can learn how to leverage this opportunity and become a social media expert web guru, you WILL be an asset to any organization. At the very least, you can put these skills in your tool belt.

It has helped me 😉

And used creatively you may also be able to call it a green job.

March 26, 2009 at 5:17 am 1 comment

Here Come 800mm Chinese Capitalists

Ruminated on by Nick

The NY Times today ran a story that documents one of the larger shifts in Chinese economic policy in recent memory:

Bringing this number of peasant farmers into the land banking system strikes me as a profound, forward-thinking move. Knowing little about Chinese policies, it does strike me that folks should have some ability to have direct ownership of essential assets–mostly free from government interest–but that the government should have some oversight. Though not a full, free-market reform like we enjoy in the States, I think this may be a positive first step in the process of decoupling economic from political freedoms that was first initiated in Tianeman Square.

October 13, 2008 at 2:54 am Leave a comment

Money follows meaning

Penned by Nick

I stumbled across a 2004 talk at Stanford by Guy Kawasaki, contrarian entrepreneur writ large, who espoused his views on the importance of making meaning first, and then trusting money will follow, as opposed to working in the opposite direction.

What struck me about Guy’s advice was how quickly this lesson has been forgotten as Web 2.0 has exploded. Indeed, my sense is that many are now beginning to wonder, what’s the real value of Facebook or Myspace, besides advertising revenue, when the communit of friends is seemingly so shallow and far removed from everyday life?

The thought that gives me heart right now is the reality that social and environmental entrepreneurs are actually embracing Guy’s lesson, and in the process, creating value that extends beyond an IPO. With some calling for war crimes trials of all CEO’s (a bit extreme, admittedly), there is, especially now in the US, a pressing need to make meaning out of an increasingly confused corporate system, and in the process, begin to be the change we all want to see in the world.

June 25, 2008 at 2:52 pm 2 comments

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