This morning I watched an amazing TED video of flying robots that can operate autonomously and collaborate with each other at the same time. It is exciting technology … just the kind of thing you would expect to come out of a TED event. As I write this, the video (and its big finish where the robots play a song together) is rapidly going viral online, and I have to admit I love watching things like this. The only problem is, I'm not sure what I can do with this mind blowing example except to share it with friends. It is great to get me thinking about the world, but not immediately easy to apply to my daily life.
Earlier today on stage at the Underground Online Seminar 8, Vishen Lakhiani had a collaborative idea of his own to unveil. In a conference room filled with over 500 online entrepreneurs – many of whom have made their entire fortunes selling advice online – his announcement was unexpected, to say the least. As Co-Founder and CEO of a company named MindValley that publishes personal growth products, Vishen fit right in with the group of internet business owners packed into the crowded Crystal City hotel ballroom just a few minutes outside Washington DC.
His company MindValley has a bold mission to help help people achieve their dreams through offering them the tools and resources to inspire them to get there. The products the company has launched are among the most popular and best selling in the personal development space. The company has won multiple awards as an amazing place to work, takes their entire 75 person staff on an annual retreat to an exotic island, and works with speakers and visionaries in many different industries.
When Vishen took the stage, he talked about a common problem that any online entrepreneur will recognize – that great ideas are quickly and shamelessly stolen and copied. For MindValley, that meant that everything from copywriting to the design templates were being ripped off by their competitors and used to get results for themselves. Instead of getting angry, or speed dialing his lawyers (as other entrepreneurs might do), Vishen and his team embraced the copycats. And then they made a big promise.
Starting today, MindValley will be one of the first companies to be completely devoted to sharing everything about their business in an open source model. This means every template, every meeting, every spreadsheet about how they run their business will be shared online. The website www.mindvalleyinsights.com just went live about 8 hours ago, and the site is filled with videos, written articles, advice and tips. The site promises a treasure chest of information on everything from hiring and retaining great people to effective branding.
Why would they release all this material for free? Unlike many others, the motivation isn't what I often call "karmic kickback" – a term that describes people who only do something for the expectation of some future return of positive karma. Instead, it is part of a bigger world view that Vishen and his entire team share. He often speaks about "why happiness is the new productivity." The more you learn about MindValley, the most this announcement feels like the perfect fit for their mission of touching 500 million lives through their content by the year 2050.
In the months to come, it will be interesting to see how MindValley Insights evolves. For now, I highly recommend bookmarking the site and returning often to consume the great content there. It will help you hire better people to create a stronger business and find more happiness and fulfillment. Not to mention we'll need all the free advice and insights we can get just in case those autonomous collaborating robots finally figure out the nuclear launch codes …