Updates from January, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

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    Eugene Eric Kim 3:48 pm on January 24, 2014 Permalink |  

    Hope you all have been having a great week! I know that @marie and @eugenechan are plotting the next bootcamp, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with!

    Two quick announcements. First, I’m tentatively planning the next bootcamp to start the week of March 10. It will be eight weeks this time, and I’ll be making some additional tweaks as always. If I have enough interest, I want to do two simultaneous bootcamps: one in SF, one in Oakland. Let me know if you’d be interested in participating, and please start thinking about others who might be interested as well.

    Second, I recently finished a draft paper that outlines my basic philosophy and frameworks around group development, strategy, and culture work. If any of you are interested in reviewing, please let me know, as I’d love your feedback! Bonus: It’s short, and there are pictures!

    I’m not sure yet whether it will be one of the concept papers I “assign” for the next bootcamp, but it will be made publicly available on the Faster Than 20 website regardless. It will also be released in the public domain (you heard that right), and so you’ll be able to do absolutely anything you want with it without restriction: share, reuse, rebrand, sell, etc.

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      Natalie 4:10 pm on January 24, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Short? With pictures? I’ll bite.

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      Brooking 3:29 am on January 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m interested!

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      Eugene Eric Kim 3:40 pm on January 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thank you both! Draft sent. Sadly, it’s starting to grow a bit, but I’ll do my best to rein it in. Looking forward to your feedback, and if others are interested, there’s still time.

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      Jessica 1:54 am on February 1, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m game too! Please send me a draft.

      And @marie / @eugenechan and other bootcampers, ditto on the missing everyone and hoping to get together somepoint in February.


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    Brooking 1:48 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink |  

    Hi everyone, here’s the photos from our meeting if anyone wants to remember fondly the adventures in network post it noting from two days ago πŸ™‚ (testing this upload style here…)

    One main take-home thought for me came from the post-its reminding me to not underestimate the power of FUN in successful networks – the qualities of aliveness, connection, shared values & identity trumping a lot of more tactical things in what makes a network feel successful….. On the “fail” side learnings, it seems you have to first be able to trump barriers to engagement such as lack of time, trust challenges (both re: transparency, relationship building, & excessive control) to get people IN & engaged in your network…and then by the powers of fun, shared vision & realizable benefit you’ve got a chance. I can see how you design for shared understanding/vision & clear benefit of participation, but how do you design for FUN – especially in a digital space? Any follow up practical thoughts/recommendations on that piece are welcome!

    Thanks again for all the good thinking & exploring. What a resource we are co-creating in these ongoing bootcamps… thanks again Eugene for your vision πŸ™‚

    photo 2

    photo 5

    photo 4

    photo 3

    photo 1

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      Eugene Eric Kim 2:23 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for turning this around so quickly, @brooking! I love these takeaways, and I especially love how the whole group converged on fun. This reminded me of a brown bag that @rapetzel and I gave last year on our culture change framework, where the participants surprised us both by focusing most of the conversation on the importance of joy as an explicit value.

      Here’s a blog post on bringing delight to virtual spaces:


      I feel like I post this one a lot. Definitely let me know if it’s useful and if you think it should serve as the basis of a concept paper.

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    Natalie 9:15 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink |
    Tags: Meeting places spreadsheet, meeting space,   

    Well, this takes me back to my days at Groupaya. I sent some information to Eugene, who asked me to post it on the water cooler. At Groupaya, it took me . . . oh, maybe 6 – 8 months . . . to get the hang of posting everything on the wiki instead of sending it via private correspondence.

    Anyway, here’s the scoop: Someone has created a spreadsheet of meeting locations, and it might be a good resource. I’ll copy the message and link below.


    Subject: RE: [sfba_members] Bay Area retreat locations

    Hi All
    This seems to be a common thread so I created a google doc with info about meeting spaces around the bay and in SoCal. There are tabs for each sheet listing (Free Locations, SF Locations, Non-SF Bay Area Locations, SocCal).

    A couple important notes:
    1 – It’s a publicly viewable doc AND editable. If you feel so moved and want to add to or revise this spreadsheet feel free to. In fact, please add more useful info that you find out or know about these spaces – pay it forward. πŸ˜‰
    2 – Disclaimer: This is a document is an online open-content collaborative list; that is, a voluntary association of individuals and groups working to develop a common resource of human knowledge. This allows anyone with an Internet connection to alter its content. Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information. That is not to say that you will not find valuable and accurate information, however, I cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here.
    3 – If you have little experience or don’t know how to navigate a google spreadsheets to get to the info, please ask your friend, son, daughter, mom, co-worker, or anyone else that will know how. While I like to be helpful, I don’t have the time to field those questions.
    4 – Don’t email or call me about any info on this sheet either – sorry. IF you have a question about any of these spaces, contact them AND/or maybe use the YNPN community to help you out.

    I hope this works out and becomes a great community resource.

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      Dana 9:26 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      WOW! Thanks Natalie! I have a to do to look up meeting venues in S.F, can’t tell you how much this helped. What awesome timing you have πŸ˜‰

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        Eugene Eric Kim 3:33 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        @dana, I have a list as well, which I’d be happy to share. It’s messy, but it’s got some different information than the spreadsheet above. Just let me know. That goes for anyone else as well.

        Would be even cooler if someone were compelled to combine the two lists!

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      Natalie 9:48 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Well, there you have it. Eugene was right again.

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        Eugene Eric Kim 2:08 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This should be the unstated fourth ground rule.

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      Natalie 5:49 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Oooooo. You’re asking for trouble, Eugene. πŸ™‚

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    Jessica 7:03 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink |  

    @eekim I’m looking for the language you used for the “1000 questions” exercise… any idea where I could find a description of it?

    Also, I’m facilitating this exercise PRIOR TO a 60-min prototyping exercise and following a 60-min creative brainstorm, and was wondering if you or other bootcampers had any suggestions re: how to wrap it up… In other words, participants are brainstorming ideas, then they choose a concept to develop, then they ask questions about it, and then they start prototyping… but I’m wondering how the transition from QUESTIONS to PROTOTYPING might work.

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      Eugene Eric Kim 7:32 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      100 questions β€” 1,000 would be insane! πŸ˜‰

      Here’s a link to my workout card: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ahcjXZqLjAg1GxXg5nxSGg_aY14VP3cx3z7tyNEjdHY/edit?usp=sharing

      I’m hoping to finish a draft of a set of these by the end of this month for broader distribution. Feedback appreciated!

      I would start with the questions, then go into the brainstorm.

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        Brooking 11:48 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        haha I used this today myself, how funny! We’re somehow on the same thread Jess – I literally just sent out an email to someone with the exercise!

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          Jessica 8:44 am on February 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          πŸ™‚ It turned out to be a thought-provoking exercise (I knew that it would), but it was hard for the group to transition from it to the next exercise in the workshop (actually refining the project/idea)… Would love to hear how you ended it and moved on to the next thing on your agenda… Online or at our next bootcamp:-)

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    Eugene Eric Kim 4:17 pm on January 15, 2014 Permalink |  

    Many thanks to @brooking and @rapetzel for a wonderful bootcamp yesterday! Brooking requested feedback on both content and process. I’m going to do a nit picky process debrief later this week to give you all a sense of how I use my debrief template and what I’m seeing when I’m wearing my process hat. But, I wanted to offer some quick feedback here:

    • I liked the session overall β€” 7/10 for me. For me, 6 is minimum satisfaction, 7 is good. Once you start getting into 8s and above, you’re taking it to another level. For an informal, two-hour session where you’re grappling with a rather complex topic, if you’re hitting a 7, you’re doing pretty well. I’d like you all to be hitting 6s and 7s consistently. If you’re hitting 8s consistently, you can take over bootcamp, and I’ll just participate! πŸ™‚
    • Sometimes, your ability to hit 8 or above has nothing to do with your facilitation abilities. In yesterday’s case, the space we were in was challenging. (I’ve been super appreciative about people’s generosity about providing space β€” thank you @eugenechan! And, none of our spaces have been optimal for what we’re doing, including space that I’ve paid for. I really need to find a good, ongoing space for us.) That said, the way you guys configured the space showed a lot of skill. Rollaway whiteboard β€” brilliant, and something I’m going to steal. Post-Its for the synthesis β€” excellent. Having all of us on the same side of the table β€” excellent.
    • I really appreciated the level of conversation. You guys picked a hard topic and a hard framing. I didn’t say anything before, but I was skeptical about how deep we would be able to get. However, we were able to develop some shared understanding of “high-performance networks” without getting totally sidetracked by it, and we were able to get into some useful strategic and tactical discussions. Personally, I feel inspired to write a blog post about some of the things we discussed. I particularly liked everyone’s contributions. I think the skill and number of participants really contributed to the success of the bootcamp. I would have been interested to have seen how this would have turned out (and how Brooking and Rebecca would have handled it) if we had two or more additional people.
    • I feel like we hit most of Brooking and Rebecca’s goals. I think we missed on, “Participants gain insights on design thinking techniques,” although I also question the framing of the goal. Is “design thinking” being used here as a catch-all for the kind of tactical techniques you might use in any group process? The two that I can’t answer and that I’m curious about are: Did we hit Brooking’s goal around timeliness (we can have a long conversation about this), and were Brooking and Rebecca surprised by what they learned?
    • From a workout perspective, there were several things I appreciated. First and foremost, the act of designing and facilitating any of these is practice, so I’m very glad that this continues to happen, and I’m looking forward to other bootcampers designing and facilitating future sessions. Second, even though I didn’t like framing the opening question around “high-performance networks” (although I agreed with the decision), the overall framing question was strong in that you started with personal experience as opposed to abstraction. (This is one of the lessons from the person-on-the-street workout.) Third, I liked the pairs exercise, and I especially appreciated Brooking’s framing β€” “We’re going to be exercising our listening and synthesis muscles.” That felt very much in the spirit of bootcamp. I’m always amazed by how much of a difference moving into pairs can make. It requires skill to make that move with such a small group, but group physics doesn’t lie.
    • From a bootcamp perspective, I would have rather seen less up-front talk about Health eHeart. However, I’m also conscious of @eugenechan’s feedback (he liked the groundedness of starting with a real project). This was essentially a peer consultation, and from a community of practice perspective, peer consultations are wonderful. I think we could have reached a middle ground, but I’ll reserve that feedback for my comprehensive debrief.

    What did others think? I focus a lot on process above, so I’d love to hear what people thought about the content. What did you learn? What muscles do you feel like you exercised?

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      Brooking 9:33 pm on January 15, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks SO MUCH for this feedback EEK – I love that for you this is the “short” version πŸ˜‰ I’ll be posting photos & some synthesizing thoughts this evening or tomorrow… thanks again everyone for participating!!!

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      Jessica 7:00 pm on January 16, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not sure you got this from our conversation… It may be a really useful PRE-READ / HOMEWORK to have participants reflect on some of the topics we discussed… What does a network mean to them… OR What are they hoping to achieve (in a picture)… I once had participants respond to a question: “what is the impact of art on quality of life?” on a posterous blog with pictures prior to getting together, and it was a great kickoff.

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    Eugene Eric Kim 2:45 pm on January 13, 2014 Permalink |  

    Today’s Faster Than 20 blog post on networks and power gives you an idea of the kinds of concept papers I plan on introducing at the next pilot:

    The Real Importance of Networks: Understanding Power

    For bootcampers, I would expand on this a little bit with some discussion of frameworks for analyzing power and a pointer to other references. Hopefully, this piece gives you some context for the power workout we do.

    As always, feedback appreciated. Looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow afternoon!

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      Brooking 4:50 pm on January 13, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Awesome timing Eugene & thought-provoking for sure. Also seems like a great prompt for a power conversation and perhaps this will come up a bit in our networks discussion tomorrow!


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      Rebecca 1:47 am on January 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is really great Eugene. Very sage while useful. I think what Brooking and I will be focusing on tomorrow has a lot to do with you’re concluding sentence. “Starting with these questions [around power] will help you better understand the true meaning behind the many ingredients of successful networks β€” the importance of relationship-building, of sharing, of diversity, of distributing control, of openness, and so forth. It will give you a broader perspective on the structures β€” both implicit and explicit β€” that make your network perform.”

      We are looking to spend the session building more shared understanding around those ingredients, why they’re so important. In some ways your power post offers a blanket answer to the Why, but we’re eager to sift through people’s different experiences and see what wisdom we all have on the characteristics of high-performing networks!

      Curtis Ogden has a great piece on this as well. He frames it as network thinking, but I think it addresses ingredients and characteristics more than just thinking: http://interactioninstitute.org/blog/2011/12/14/network-thinking/#more-7092

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    Eugene Eric Kim 3:39 pm on January 9, 2014 Permalink |  

    This week, I published two blog posts on Faster Than 20 about goal-setting. One of them will be very familiar to the most recent cohort of bootcampers, as it describes the goal / success spectrum template that we used in our Designing Collaborative Experiences workout. It may also be interesting to all of you because I cite my own spectrum for bootcamp as an example.

    Hack: Defining Good Goals, Success, and Failure

    The other one sets the philosophical groundwork for defining good, flexible goals:

    Be Intentional, But Hold It Lightly

    As always, comments welcome! I encourage you to leave them on the post itself so that others can join in on the conversation, but here is fine as well.

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    Brooking 6:49 am on January 9, 2014 Permalink |  

    Hey everyone – we’re on for the 14th from 3-5 at PolicyLink in downtown Oakland (Marie won’t be able to join/host that day unfortunately). TOPIC: designing for high performing networks! PolicyLink is walkable from 12th St Bart at 1438 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94612. Eugene if there’s any info we should know for arrival/where to meet please share with the group! In attendance for sure we’ll have EEK & Eugene Chan, myself & Rebecca. @jessausinheiler ? @dana? @natalie @renee @anna341bc @lauren @amy you are welcome to join as well!

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      Dana 7:04 pm on January 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey ya’ll I’ll be there!

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      Natalie 5:47 am on January 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So sorry I’ll be missing this. Next time?

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        Eugene Eric Kim 8:09 pm on January 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Dislike! But I’m sure there will be others. @marie and @eugenechan are talking about convening the next one. Anyone *ahem* can do this. πŸ™‚

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    Eugene Eric Kim 12:55 am on January 9, 2014 Permalink |  

    I’m super excited to see the energy around self-organized bootcamps! To help with the organization, I created a spreadsheet where people can sign up to host. You all should have access to edit; if you don’t, let me know.

    Looking forward to next week’s gathering with @brooking and @rapetzel!

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    Eugene Eric Kim 5:03 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink |  

    Happy New Year, bootcampers! I’m currently planning the next Changemakers Bootcamp pilot, and I’m pondering some changes. I’d love your ideas and feedback. Briefly:

    • Change the name to Collaboration Bootcamp.
    • Make it eight weeks instead of six.
    • Stricter requirements around participation. Specifically, you can still miss up to two, but you can’t miss the first session.
    • Concept papers. Lots of folks have requested more theory / teaching / Eugene-time. I am reluctant to do this during the two hours we have together, as I want to focus that time on practice. To try and accommodate, I’d like to write a series of two-page concept papers for everything we do at Bootcamp. I’m always willing to have followup conversations after the sessions, preferably here but also scheduled individually.

    I’m anxious to innovate around the last point above. It’s flattering that there’s a demand for more me-time, and I want to meet that demand, but I don’t want to fall back on traditional modes of “teaching.” Would love to hear people’s ideas.

    Finally, @jessausinheiler has asked a number of times about the difference between Changemaker Bootcamp and my new website, Faster Than 20. Faster Than 20 is simply an online home for my writing and my experiments. Changemaker Bootcamp is one of my experiments. It has its own website, this water cooler, etc. There are reasons for this, but there are also challenges: Namely, a lot of the stuff on Faster Than 20 is directly relevant to Bootcamp, and the way it’s currently setup requires people to go to two different places (an example of bad use of online group physics).

    It’s always a tradeoff, but I want to experiment with that line. As a small step, I’m thinking about making this water cooler part of Faster Than 20 rather than exclusively for Bootcamp. It would allow me to broaden the participant list as well. What do you all think?

    As a bigger step, I’m thinking about dissolving this website entirely, and just integrating the content with the Faster Than 20 website. Thoughts?

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      Eugene Chan 7:11 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I like Changemaker Bootcamp more. “Collaboration” seems more like a method to me.
      8 weeks is good
      Concept papers can be good–not sure until I get a sense of what exactly you are proposing.
      The websites are confusing.

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        Eugene Chan 7:43 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Ooops, I hit send a bit too early.

        You have 3 places where you post things: eekim.com, changemakerbootcamp, and now Faster than 20. Even though it might be clear in your mind as to the differentiation, it isn’t as clear to me. Especially since it is all “just you” at the moment.

        The difference between eekim and the other sites makes more sense. But between Faster than 20 and Changemaker is not so clear.

        The name “Changemaker Bootcamp” is also more concrete than Faster than 20.


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          Eugene Eric Kim 10:57 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Thanks for the quick feedback, @eugenechan! This is helping me think this through more carefully.

          So I’m taking this as a vote for consolidating fasterthan20.com and changemakerbootcamp.com? For context, here’s my distinction between eekim.com and fasterthan20.com: http://eekim.com/blog/2013/12/faster-than-20-my-new-website-on-high-performance-collaboration/

          By concept papers, I mean a brief overview of:

          1. Why we’re exercising this muscle in the first place
          2. How this is connected to the “bigger picture”
          3. Pointers to followup reading and frameworks

          For example, with the power workouts, I didn’t offer any feedback on how to think about power. All of that came from all of you exercising the muscles you already had, then debriefing with each other. The same was true of the difficult conversations workout. With a concept paper, I might offer some tips and point you all to other places to learn more.


          Would love to hear what others think.

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      Brooking 6:59 am on January 9, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi EEK – love the innovations, all of them actually feel like good moves to me. Re: further innovation ideas for the last one, I wonder if you’ll choose to hand out the concept papers before or after – before would satisfy those who like to enter w/ a clearer frame for practice; after would satisfy the desire to have more exploratory practice experiences. I wonder about giving out brief hand-outs before the exercise, and further explanation hand outs after (or on water cooler after) for integration. Another idea is to assign a boot camper the 2 pager and have them take 5 minutes to present the idea to the group, which gives them practice opportunities to work on communication skills and may feel a more valuable way for you to offer frameworks & more of your thinking, but still have it be focused on the bootcampers’ learning & practice experience and not you talking….

      Re: website: I like having them as separate sites, and more-over think the bootcamp as a closed group is a good thing and benefit of paying to join the boot camp. Having the watercooler be more open feels more vulnerable and makes this a less safe space I think for some of the more personal conversations, which to me is a loss….

      2 cents! -Brooking

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        Eugene Eric Kim 3:29 pm on January 9, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, @brooking! I wonder what I’ll choose too. πŸ™‚ My inclination is to simply make the concept papers available in advance and give people the option. It’s consistent with my philosophy that workout time be devoted to practice and feedback. I like the idea of having bootcampers (rather than me) present for the reasons you list. However, I’m concerned about the time it would take away from the main workout.

        Appreciate your vote on keeping the websites separate as well as the feedback on open vs closed watercooler. There is no question that a closed group is safer than an open one. The key question is, to what degree? What would be happening here if this group were closed that’s not happening right now? What’s happening right now that wouldn’t be happening if this were closed? Well worth an experiment to articulate, then test some hypotheses.

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      Jessica 9:52 pm on January 9, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply


      I love the idea of concept papers — before and after. Before as a way to gather your thoughts AND practice presenting. After as a way to reflect on the progress you’ve made, and get feedback on your high-level plan.

      I, like Eugene C., like the idea of integrating the sites. I appreciate @brooking comment on the intimacy of the group but–personally–would welcome any one who happens to be on the FT20 site and wants to join our conversation. (And the site is currently “open” anyway).

      Looking forward to seeing everyone on 1/14.

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        Eugene Eric Kim 6:33 pm on January 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the feedback, @jessausinheiler, and glad you can make it on Tuesday!

        I am almost certainly going to integrate some kind of discussion functionality into Faster Than 20, as it’s already turning into a touch point for all of my different communities and projects, and I’m wanting to integrate them. Still uncertain as to whether to make this water cooler that, but the feedback is helpful.

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