Two Left Feet: Learning to dance to learn about everything else

It has been a while since my last pick. Why? Well after backing 42 Kickstarters in 8 categories I had to take a break and meet some personal finance goals. Also with a limited backing spend I have become more discerning when picking my recommendations. But this latest pick got me inspired to once again scan for great projects.

A quick disclaimer. This project was launched by my wonderful niece, Heather Walters. Now that you know that, also know she is an incredible actor, artist, writer and risk taker. And I can tell you she ships the projects she starts.

When I look at a project to back I ask a few key questions. Here are a few.

  • Does their project evoke inspiration for others to self-publish, innovate, create art, make a life change, take a risk?
  • Have they already showed proof they can deliver (previous successful projects, shown promise in their craft already?
  • Do they have a tribe of believers behind them?

Heather meets all of them.

Ok, one last note before you go. I love Heather’s subject, learning dancing for the mere purpose of finding what the art can show her about life. I recently wrote a post called White-Washing the Canvas. In the post I urge others to do art for art sake. Do it to share beauty, learn more about life, explore and risk. Her book project fits that message so well. Personally I want to read it. You will too.



Starting right: Our Bar On Kickstarter

I have this issue. I cannot go into a bar, restaurant or resort without seeing blindspots as well as bright spots. By that I mean areas where the owners are taking advantage or missing golden opportunities to connect with customers and deliver something truly remarkable. Partly my parents are to blame. I was born into the service industry. And my parents both are experts at it. Food and hospitality are unique in that your customers actually spend a considerable amount of time in your business. That translates to your service leaving a lasting great or horrible impression.

This morning Kickstarter featured a local Portland area (Washougal, Wa) highlight that I fell in love with. Kevin Credelle & Alex Yost are starting something with both the intent and delivery that I believe will make them succeed. If you are curious, please go watch the Our Bar video and try to see why I say this.

Recently I started watching Bar Rescue. It is a crazy look at some of the worst failing establishments in the world. I don’t completely agree with the host’s yelling but he is spot on with every tweak he makes to help the owners turn around their businesses. I think he would smile at Kevin and Alex’s plans. I can’t wait to share a pint with friends when they open their door.

Pressgram: An Image Sharing App Built for an Independent Web

I first met John Saddington when we co-spoke at one of Leonard Sweet’s Alumni Advances for George Fox Evangelical Seminary. He is a dynamic innovator and leader. I attribute my addiction to WordPress to John’s work.

A while ago John left Facebook, which actually really bummed me out. Then he ditched Instagram. I understood why but I missed seeing his posts on both social networks. Well John missed it too. He wanted something cooler that would allow posting directly to the homebase (blog, website, or other main site of the users choice). This week he launched that plan through Kickstarter. Watch John’s video to get the whole scoop. I think his app is great and a needed tool for those who don’t want to leave the tribe growing to another service that will ultimately be in control of their content.

The Leap Year Project

I backed this project early on. Victor Saad’s passion came through so strikingly in the video as well as his mission to highlight people around the world doing amazing things and “taking risks to create change”. I instantly connected with his plan, having been through a few transitions myself in my pursuit to find what change I can offer the world. So go check out this great project and help bring this one home. It only has a short time left and so little to go. Here is to seeing it successful come Thursday night.

BAKING ALASKA almost done

Today I did not have to look far to find a project to feature. In the Kickstarter’s Recently Launched page I found Kari Barber’s film project, BAKING ALASKA. It is a documentary about two sisters who fulfill their dream of opening a bakery in Alaska.

First, the storyline is one I love. My mom and stepdad in 1983 went to Alaska to fulfill a life long dream to both live and run a business there. Watching Kari’s footage and pitch brought back many great memories of their adventures and the stories they would tell me via letters. Among many stories I loved the one about a grizzly bear trying to break into the stockroom/bedroom in the back of the pizza parlor.

BAKING ALASKA evokes that desire in all of us to follow our dreams. I backed Kari because I want to see the film finished. I want to see how the story unfolds.

Catfish Sandwich: A new album from Michelle and Barry

I met the Pattersons about 4 years ago while visiting my friend Jon in Colorado. It is kind of funny because I met Barry first while sipping coffee in Jon’s kitchen and then later Michelle when we stopped by to help her move furniture in their mountain cabin. I remember that last one the most because of their basset hound on the porch. He had discovered that the medical cone he had to wear at the time made for an amazing amplifier. He stood on the porch broadcasting his houndisms across the mountain valley.

The Pattersons are super talented musicians and a deep hearted couple. Their music really shows both. You can find out more on the Catfish Sandwich project page. Oh and this makes my first music backing. I am trying to fill out the Kickstarter pie. So if you know of any projects in Art, Photography, Dance, Theater or Fashion that need some attention, please send them my way. I can’t guarantee I will love them but at least I will have some choices. Thanks for stopping by.

Hirelings: The Ascent

I depend on Gavin Nichols for my day to day “what is hot in gaming news”. Gavin is currently the lead programmer on our latest game Wind Up Football. For nearly two years now Gavin has been my Obi-Wan in the game industry. In the ever changing atmosphere where I have to keep up on the latest gadgets, games and nuances, Gavin comes through with what I really need to be paying attention to. You can find him on twitter at @radiago.

Yesterday Gavin skyped me a link to Hirelings. The video is hilarious and the game concept is brilliant. I just finished reading The Princess Bride with my family and my favorite characters have to be the two hirelings Fezzik and Inigo. The Game Hirelings takes your favorite sherpas of the gaming world and makes them into the focus of a great game. They only have 9 days left so get in on the action while you can.

Planetary Annihilation-Incredible

Continuing with Gamers Week, my lead programmer, John McGlothlan showed me an incredible game project, Planetary Annihilation by Uber Entertainment Inc. I want to play this game so much! Here is why.

First, I love the rolling world interface. I have seen this in a few tower games and if game-play is anything like the mock-ups I think this will be a perfect fit for the genre. Second, I am a total Mechwarrior nut. The battles look like they take plenty from the best of MW. Last but not least I really like the team Uber.

So now the wait. I have no doubt these guys will deliver a remarkable game.

I believe it enough that I backed it myself.

Oh and thanks for the incredible response on our own game Kickstarter campaign. Keep the love coming.

The Directorate – We Launched

I think by now you know why I decided to make this week Gamers Week.

I have been working alongside an amazing creative team to launch a Kickstarter campaign and today we submitted on time. I have to tell you it is really cool to finally be on the other side of the process. I love featuring great projects and seeing the drama unfold, but it is so different to finally press go and see all your hard work go live. (we started the video, website and other materials in earlier this year).

Ok, enough of that. This is The Directorate. Please check it out, share it and help us reach our funding goal.

The Gamers Hands of Fate

This week is gamers week. I am from time to time going to feature specific categories from Kickstarter. And by that I mean I will at one time or another feature every category….even dance.

Ok, back to this weeks feature.

This is a great project that has so many incredible gamer community elements. The Gamers series started as just a college project but now has millions of fans. See what they are up to for their next film in Hands of Fate


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