Dancers need music

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I thought a lot over the weekend about the Dance Party post I wrote, and the absolutely amazing response that I received. Derek even tweeted about it, Andrew Dubber wrote another post about it, and many of you commented on the post. I really feel like I've joined some huge thing and all of a sudden I'm.....well, I'm dancing.

I'm so excited I can barely contain myself.

I've also been struggling with something a little bit though. I want and need to follow Derek and Andrew's lead by doing everything I can to make sure that this project isn't about me, but continues to be about the larger idea. Embracing the reality that in our own way, when we follow someone first, we become leaders ourselves. But also understanding that the only way to lead is to make it easy for people to follow you and to embrace people that want to join in on the fun.

I've had to juxtapose this against the reality of managing a project; understanding that the more people that are involved, the more channels of communication there are, the more complex it becomes - the more difficult it is to then actually ship something on time.

My point is, I've been thinking about this a lot. I guess I just want you to know that I'm serious about not just executing on one of Andrew's ideas, but also in following Derek's original lead - that this is about giving not taking. It's about including, not excluding.

And so, I've come up with a couple things for my particular project that I think can make it possible for anyone that wants to join in on the fun to do so, while also giving me the appropriate amount of control over the project that's going to actually ship something.

Here's the plan:

1. Anyone in the world that wants to observe this project (the specific unknown thing that I'll be working on) can do so by filling out this form. I'm going to call you music makers - though you'll be dancers in your own right too. In exchange, you agree to write one blog post a week about the project. Anything you like. Good - bad - anything. If it's in the project space, you can write about it. One caveat - this invitation is open only until March 3rd, when Andrew Dubber begins publishing his ideas. Want to join in? Get in now!

2. All profits - every single last penny - of whatever is made will go to charity. My time will not be an expense for this project, but if I have to buy $3,000 in materials to make this "thing" then I'll recoup that. All profits though - they all go to charity. I'm currently talking with a non-profit that I like very much and I'm trying to get a few specifics worked out but I hope to have some more details by the end of the week.

There are a couple reasons as to why I'm doing these things. First, by opening up the project, I'm letting anyone that wants to follow to join in. One thing I became concerned about was that as a lot of people expressed an interest in helping, I didn't know who I was going to need help from to make the as of now unknown thing.

I thought about opening the project and saying, "we'll get together once I have the idea and figure out who's going to do what", but I fear that would possibly just make the scope fly out of control, bloat the project, and basically put everything at risk. Since the whole point is to actually ship something, I'm going to need to maintain a certain amount of control over my portion of the project.

This bring us to the other reason of letting anyone in. What's the point in making something if no one is going to know about it? One of the things that really stuck a cord with me in Seth Godin's latest book Linchpin is that "art", by it's definition, has to change people. And in order to change people, it must be received. So even though I don't know what we're going to be making yet, I know I want it to be received.

So spreading the word - continuing to make this dance as big as it can be - that's one thing I know I'm going to need help with. And, it'll let YOU be creative with how you want to follow.

If you play music - maybe you want to follow by writing a song. If your a cartoonist - maybe you want to make a drawing for the website. If you make get the point.

By joining the project, you get to see what direction the idea/product/service/thingy that I'm working on is going - and if you want to let that influence your dance you can. You'll have access to every note, every conversation, every file......everything.

And so then this brings us to the second item above - donating any proceeds to charity. As I explained in a comment on Andrew's blog, Derek's idea started with giving, not taking. Plus, I know that I'm going to need help and I don't think helping me make money would be much of a motivator.

But what if collectively we all got together, and made and promoted something that literally changed peoples lives? What if Derek's act of giving away his idea spawned something that even he couldn't have imagined? What if a human being lives because I shipped something and you wrote about it?

And look, I know it's scary to care. Because when you care about something you can be disappointed. When you care about something you can fail. But remember, nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished by people who didn't care.

I really hope you'll consider joining the project, and thank you so much for all the support you've already given me.