Jonathan is a problem solver and an instigator with a background in advertising, communication, and clinical/social psychology. He prides himself in the questions he asks and his ability to hold his breath for over two minutes. During his limited free time, he enjoys spending time with the people he loves and thinking about things like community, leadership, and designing for impact. He also really likes writing one-paragraph bios about himself in the third person.

I would describe myself as a conscious capitalist. I believe that businesses can be a powerful agent of social and environmental change if they are intentional about designing their services and products for positive humanitarian impact. I’m particularly interested in creating businesses built on concepts such as bartering and sharing. Right now at AC4D, I’m applying these principles to change how people buy and consume food.


Reflections

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I don’t get it

While Ben is busy building version one of the Feast for Days product, I’m trying to meet with anyone who will listen and get feedback on our business idea. I reason that if I can make enough people fall in love with me (and our idea) prior to having a product, we’ll have the beginnings of a solid community of participants and advisors by our launch.

Even though I’ve given the Feast for Days speil a million times, I’m always terrified of hearing those four words that feel like a flaming arrow straight into my esophagus.

“I don’t get it.”

 

This past week I met with a chef who had successfully started and sold several restaurants. Because of some last minute shifts in schedules, we only had 15 minutes to talk. As I’m sitting there waiting for him to show up, I’m going over how to structure the conversation.

1. He tells me about what he does.

2. I tell him what I am doing and ask him three specific questions

3. He answers my questions.

4. I compliment and thank him

5. We shake hands and leave

Feeling confident, I sip on my espresso. The chef soon sits down next to me. He has tattoos and an edgy buddhist prayer necklace, I’m wearing pleated light blue slacks and a polo.

Me: “Thank you so much for meeting with me! To make the most of our time, I’d love to first learn about what you do, so I don’t go into detail about things that do not matter.”

Chef: “You tell me what you do first.”

Me: “Uhh…”

Being thrown off my plan, I launch into a quick explanation of AC4D and our business. When I finished, I look at him waiting for some sort of response.

Chef: “I don’t get it.”

I quickly try to gain an understanding of the aspects of our idea that he did not understand, but sure enough he had to leave and I sat there alone in my light blue khaki pants sipping on a cold espresso.

Lessons learned:

1. Always have a one sentence business objective or goal.

2. Always have a bulleted list of no more than three tactics your business employs to accomplish that objective or goal.

3. In order to mitigate the effect of discouraging experiences always have a discreet list of no more than 3 hypothesis that you are trying to prove or disprove. When feeling discouraged, look at those hypothesis. If you still do not have answers to them do one of three things.

-Continue doing what you are doing

-Change what you are doing to get answers faster

-Change the hypothesis you are testing

4. For times when looking at hypothesis do not help. Beer is always good :)

-Jonathan

@jtomylew

 

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Social Entrepreneurship discussed and defined

Below is what I envision being a poster highlighting thoughts and opinions on social entrepreneurship. I tried to be very simple and iconographic while giving the viewer the opportunity to get a decent amount of information as well. Some of the smaller text may be hard to read. If so you can download a PDF below.

Social Entrepreneurship Icons

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The story of how Jon found his way: A metaphor for creativity, knowledge, and strategy.

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Technology as it relates the design process

Artifacts presenting the role of technology in the world and its importance.

  1. New technology advances slowly and new technology is available to a select few.
  2. People are influenced, constrained, and motivated by technology in every stage of the design process.
  3. The design process results in the creation of things in the form of products, services, and systems.
  4. Things shape people and some of those people are are influenced, constrained, and motivated by new technology.

  1. New technology advances rapidly and is available to a large population.
  2. Ubiquitous new technology allows more people to act as designers.
  3. People are influenced, constrained, and motivated by technology in every stage of the design process.
  4. The design process results in the creation of things in the form of products, services, or systems.
  5. Things shape people and most of those people now design things.

This is important because I value people and want to live in a world of things that do more good than harm.

 

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