On Deck “Request for Projects”

I sent this initially to the On Deck community, but I thought I’d share it wider to bring more people into the community.

Erik Torenberg
Sep 28, 2016 · 4 min read

Edit: This is the 2018 Edition. Lots of similarities. This one is mostly focused on community projects that are not VC backable.

Below is a scattered list of projects I’d like to see in the world. Let me know if you’re working on it or need advice to start something like it.

Creative Expression

  • YC for Artists, Poets, Film-makers, etc
  • Organization that promotes creative expression among young people (E.g Button Poetry, Youth Speaks — all the better if it fuses a love of either technology (e.g. our old idea of Ciphers & Cyphers) or personal growth/healing (e.g. Circles & Ciphers)
  • Bring Rapt.fm back + rapt.fm cyphers all over the world
  • Urban dictionary but for building a rhyming dictionary of top lyrics to help people learn how to rap
  • Wikipedia for rhymes

Community & Connection & Intellectual interest:

  • Welcoming committees in cities for newcomers
  • Book clubs, Readathons (e.g. 24 hour day book club)
  • New Universities or learning institutions
  • Big Quiet
  • Nonviolent communication training / community
  • If Twitter and Quora had a baby.
  • Experiments in co-living, co-working
  • Conference bringing leaders in different fields together
  • Kickstarter for People
  • Charter Cities

Fitness

  • Something as meaningful as Barry’s Bootcamp
  • “Fit Club” (this is more of a fun one — going to the gym at night instead of going to the a bar or the club club)
  • General Assembly for Health + Wellness + relationships (e.g. Alain De Botton’s School of Life)

Healing

  • Healing center for people with trauma
  • Mental health destigmatizing
  • Alcoholics Anonymous for X (support groups for people dealing with death, divorce, diseases, etc etc etc….Also — what would AA look like if it was invented in 2018?)
  • Organization focused on healing between relationships (family relationships, friend/partner relationships, business relationships)

Technology Community

  • Network of hacker houses
  • Old Rise Awards construct
  • Careeri-pedia
  • On Deck (done!)
  • Talent / Recruiting company
  • GLG in 2018
  • Organizations that build communities around domain expertise, age, and functional skillset (e.g communities of heads of sales, CTOs, etc)
  • Modern Day University
  • Another take on Thiel Fellowship
  • Silicon Valley MBA
  • Saastr for X
  • 20min VC for X

***

Sept 2016:

Hey All,

Many On Deckers have shared how they are exploring what to do next but don’t yet have their “idea” to pursue. One thing I learned from Kevin Kelly is to share all your ideas. So, in case this sparks something, I’ve put together a personal “Request for Projects”.

The below are all ideas I’m interested in helping with, advising on, and potentially investing in. As you can tell, they all relate my main interest of building communities around top talent. I’d love to talk to world-class entrepreneurs interested in founding any *new* versions of the below:

  • Creating a brand and community around developer ecosystem tied with a small fund. Could be a global “Hacker House” for great engineers/designers/product folk or could be an event series like Summit Series for an even more technical audience.
  • Talent/Recruiting company, but genuine community first and foremost. I’d love to work with the best community building recruiter who wants to found their own company. On Deck can help with this, because it knows what great talent wants to do next and on what timeline. On Deck brand/resources are available.
  • Events/Conferences — For the The Rise Awards, I’m looking for a partner/co-founder who wants to make something inspired by LAUNCH festival/Forbes 30 under 30/hustlecon etc but with an original twist. There are interesting opportunities to create communities for winners (e.g. iOS engineers, Machine learning experts, etc).
  • Day Zero accelerator — For top notch people who are just starting or who literally haven’t quit their jobs yet. On Deck already these people, and I’ve invested in ~20 of them, but I haven’t formalized a program in any way. Big opportunity there.
  • What would GLG look like if it was invented in 2016?
  • Any incredible people specifically interested in starting something that involves events + conferences + community + recruiting + investing and any incredible people generally interested in the intersection of career development, jobs, sharing knowledge, and connecting people.

If you know any world-class entrepreneurs who are starting something like the above, feel free to introduce me.

And hey, while we’re at it, here are other random ideas I want to exist related to my personal interests:

  • What would the modern university (or a Silicon Valley MBA) look like if it was invented in 2016? What would YPO look like?
  • A tech product connecting people at the right time for the right opportunity (I know, broad).
  • Careeripedia (wikipedia but for helping people evaluate career opportunities)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous for X (support groups for people dealing with death, divorce, diseases, etc etc etc….Also — what would AA look like if it was invented in 2016?)
  • General Assembly for Health + Wellness (e.g. Alain De Botton’s School of Life)
  • “Fit Club” (this is more of a fun one — going to the gym at night instead of going to the a bar or the club club)
  • These are just purely related to my hobbies….Non-profit connecting a love of poetry/rap with technology (hosting poetry slams/rap cyphers across the world). My current name for it is “Cyphers and Ciphers”. Something as good as n+1 magazine, or Button poetry, or 24 hour book club (a brand+community that celebrates reading for its own sake). Urban dictionary but for building a rhyming dictionary of top lyrics to help people learn how to rap

I’ll probably organize an On Deck hackathon soon. If you’d like to help organize let me know.

Also, as always, if you know world-class entrepreneurs interested in starting or joining their next thing, please refer them to beondeck.co, and, if appropriate, introduce me directly :). We have regular meetups in SF, with other cities coming soon once I bring on help.

Erik

    Erik Torenberg

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