The best way to learn? By doing.
I’ve taught at Saskatchewan Polytech for the past four years. I’ve taught Marketing, Digital Marketing, and my favourite class to teach, Entrepreneurship. It’s my favourite because we actually start a company and the students experience Entrepreneurship first hand. They can’t just read a book a bunch of times, remember it better than everyone else and ace a test, no no, this class is much more difficult than that.
From the book the Mastery, throughout the history of civilization the best way to learn anything in this world is by doing it. Apprenticeship is the long forgotten method of learning how to do almost anything in our world. But instead of making student apprentice in a subject, we make them learn all the theory of the subject. The problem happens when you engage the theory in the real world and a different result happens. What do you do when what you’ve been told will work 100% of the time fails? What an amazing learning outcome.
Failure is a part of life and when you do something like launch a company you experience a lot of failure. These end up being the best learning moments in
the classroom life.
Our ancestors decades ago didn’t have the luxury of libraries, schools and teachers, they learned anything by doing it.
Enter Entrepreneurship 2.0.
In my Entrepreneurship class we start a company. We don’t Uplifting T-shirts, Free Hugs T-shirts, and this year we did MisMatched Mittens.
Born out of an idea from Junior Achievement(JA) in our city. JA in the high school curriculum has students creating a company as a team and actually taking a product to market. What a novel idea, experiencing entrepreneurship instead of learning about it.
So Uplifting T-shirts was the first project. Supporting a local organization who came and presented to our class on “Social Enterprise”. Tyler Gray from Carmichael Outreach talked about the importance of business creation and job creation to get our community out of the cycle of poverty.
The idea of Uplifting T-shirts revolved around donating all proceeds to Carmichael. 60 T-shirts were printed with the slogan across the chest which read
“Kindness is Contagious
Pass it on”
We sold them for $28 a piece. 60 t-shirts were sold in Seven days and the students raised $1,000 for Carmichael Outreach. Pretty cool outcome for a class of only Five students.
Next was a similar idea for a “Free Hugs” campaign. This was done by our Digital Marketing class and it was a Summer semester so we never did get to finish selling the t-shirts. I may or many not even have one lying around if you’re interested!
We got come press about this one!
Finally MisMatched Mittens was the 2016 Entrepreneurship project. This time profits going to the Redcross Anti Bullying campaign. “These mitts are different and they don’t care, do you?” read the tag the students hired Articulate Ink here in Regina to create. They sold 89 pairs of Mitts at $15 a pair. After expenses the class ended up donating $870 to the Anti Bullying campaign. How awesome!
I believe the learning outcomes are much more concrete when you experience Entrepreneurship.
Yup, we did it! The first week of August this past Summer we ran “Big Idea Camp 2015” a one day, Amazing race meets Harvard business competition. We had 6 students who formed two teams and competed in 5 different challenges throughout the day. It was nothing short of amazing.
Here’s the Twitter play by play on the day… Remember to follow @BigIdeaCamp on Twitter!
Well I’m glad you asked! We’ve been busy working away on project like the Prairie Spruce Commons Cohousing Project (a first of it’s kind in Regina). We’ve been doing some fun work with KSP Technology that involves potlucks and Nerf gun fights.
Also made friends with a Saskatoon local grocer called “SaskMade Marketplace” just another ridiculously cool story of a home grown Saskatchewan business. Born and raised in Saskatoon. They’re big supporters of supporting local, helping grow our community and sourcing many other Saskatchewan based companies. They do these amazing corporate gift baskets that include all Saskatchewan wares. Pretty sweeet!!
And we’ve had the pleasure of working on one of the coolest projects we’ve ever been a part of, it’s called “4 to 40“. Yup, 4 to 40, that’s the amount of hours you need to hire someone for to be considered an “inclusive employer”.
It’s a project we started working on with Sasktel, the University of Regina Campus For All Program and Creative Options Regina (COR).
I am still on the Alumni Board, and have gone from just being on the Regina Volleyball Club board to President this year. I have a vision to grow Volleyball in this city and province, taking ownership is the only way I know how to create change. (actually I just complained too much and when you complain too much in a no-for-profit you end up doing the work). Brandon just put a website together for the Regina Volleyball Club. See below.
We’ve been busy! Possibly another conference in Regina coming up soon too. We need to follow up what we did last year in #Awesome13 (How to be Awesome Online). We’re thinking “How to be Awesome Offline in an Online World”. Counterintuitive I know. Deep right? That’s what we were going for.
Our province is on a growth spurt right now and it’s amazing to see. We also filmed a few new videos for our marketing page (you can thank Brandon for that).
Enough about me. how he hell have you been?!?
Find a bunch of Strategy Lab’s Resources here:
RFP=Request For Proposal. When a public institution needs to contract a company to do a job they aren’t capable of themselves, they send out a Request For Proposal (RFP). The RFP outlines what needs to be done, what tools should be used and some contain a whole lot more. A RFP is basically the project outline for any company that wants to bid on the project. Just like the recycling service in Regina, the City put out an RFP and Emterra won it.
When it comes to RFP’s the cheapest company usually wins. In business, simply going with the cheapest solution is rarely a good idea for your business.
Case in point: City of Regina hasn’t been recycling glass food containers
Turns out the “recycling” company (Emterra) the city hired doesn’t recycle glass. Doesn’t recycle glass?!? What do you mean? Isn’t that a major portion of what we recycle?
When the city put the RFP out about recycling pickup, Emterra responded (conveniently leaving the glass part out) and quoted a cheaper price to do the job.
The city went with the cheaper option, without reading the fine print.
RFP’s suck. It’s a race to the bottom. It’s undercutting everyone else to get a job, that’s not right nor is it sustainable. Even if you do win the RFP, you have no budget room whatsoever, you have a slim chance at making this project successful, you’re forced to cut corners to make it work. Sadly it is the public entities that use RFP’s that pay the price.
That’s exactly what Emterra did, they didn’t exactly come out and say they weren’t going to recycle glass but with how little they’re getting paid per bin pickup there’s a reason they can’t process glass. And from the cities response you KNOW they didn’t catch it, if anything it sounds like it was directly the city’s fault.
Lets stop using RFP’s they aren’t helping anyone.
** I am making an assumption here that Emterra mischievously left the glass recycling out to create the cost savings. I recognize that they may have found it in hindsight and been an honest mistake. But if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it’s probably not a chicken!!!
Are Newspapers Dying?
Warren Buffet doesn’t seem to think so, buying up some 60 odd papers in the past two years. He’s not alone either, other billionaires as of late have been splurging on traditional print media companies like Takeru Kobayashi at a hotdog eating contest.
So the obvious question is, why?
Buffett thinks it has to do with a monopoly on local news. People will always need their news, off or online. As long as local Newspapers can focus on the local news he think they’ll be just fine.
Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos’ just purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. From Fastcompany: “Observers were surprised when the Amazon Chief purchased the prestigious-and ailing-Washington institution, but history shows that sometimes buying a media property is like buying a boat.”
So now rich people to show off, instead of buying a yacht, mansion or real estate, they’re buying newspapers.
The Boston Globe was sold to John Henry, owner of the Boston Redsox for $70 million. If you think that’s a lot, to put it into perspective, the New York Times Co. purchased the Boston Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. The return on that investment is breathtakingly horrible.
And a little closer to home, the Leaderpost, as of May 14th along with many other of Post Media’s entities have gone subscription fee after you’ve read your 10th article for free. I’d be curious to see the numbers of people subscribing to the online Leaderpost, again, I don’t necessarily think the Leaderpost is in trouble. People need their news. And people want to trust the source for their local news. I can see the Leaderpost online entity being a very value online publication for little ol booming Regina. As Warren Buffett says, “as long as they stick to delivering local news that readers can’t find anywhere else.”
It’s going to be a rocky road ahead for the Leaderpost, Washington Post, and Boston Globe, Google is set to make more revenue than the entire U.S. print industry combined.
Image Source: Google Rakes In More Ad Dollars Than U.S. Print Media
Looking at this graph it’s hard not to think Newspapers could be dying faster than we think, that’s trusting that this graph is 100% true as well. 😉
What do you think? Will Newspapers disappear? How would you go about saving them?