I'm an entrepreneur, most recently with Lore. Starting something new.

  1. Free College for Starbucks Employees →

    The New York Times reports:

    Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce on Monday.

    The program is open to any of the company’s 135,000 United States employees, provided they work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. For a barista with at least two years of college credit, the company will pay full tuition.


    Starbucks is, in effect, inviting its workers, from the day they join the company, to study whatever they like, and then leave whenever they like — knowing that many of them, degrees in hand, will leave for better-paying jobs.

    This is a prescient and inspiring move by Starbucks. It’s particularly interesting for three reasons: 

    • The company knows that in this era education is our limiting factor. Fast food is historically a people-powered industrial machine. As computers replace humans in those roles, employees will need to be more skilled.
    • Starbucks is the latest corporation to step into a role traditionally occupied by the government. As the US government continues to languish with education, I suspect we’ll see more of this.
    • This is only possible because of online education delivery. The incremental cost of an additional online student is orders of magnitude lower than that of an in-person one. 

    I don’t know much about the experience of this program, and I’m naturally skeptical of a “get-a-degree-in-two-years” education, but it’s a step in the right direction. The content and process of college needs an overhaul, and I think we’re more likely to see improvement with corporations getting more involved. 

    I fully expect other large companies to follow in Starbucks’s wake—and I’m excited to see where that goes. 

  2. Field Notes: Mod


    This is Ground have designed a wonderful carryall for the modern explorer. Their words:

    The Mod is a full design system — not a singular item. It’s a new space to stow and carry items that are in your life. The concept was inspired by those old vintage portfolios that allowed for tricking out the interior with phone books, pencils, notebooks and little things. The Mod takes that concept and updates it with respect to modern day gear and today’s adventurer. ‘Mod’ifiable means you’re covered for your day job, after hours, weekends, alter ego, and dreams.

    TIG sent me one as part of their beta program. I’ve had my Mod (“magnetically modifiable folio”) for a few days and already love it. Some notes:

    Read More

    TAGGED: writing themod thisisground

  3. Vignelli, 1931-2014

  4. Blockchain for Good

    A thought. Could we use the blockchain to create an alternate currency that captures non-dollar wealth? For example, EcoCoin: a fungible, transferrable measure of positive environmental value. 

    Corporations have historically been far more effective vehicles for change than non-profits. (Governments live somewhere in the middle but lately have been doing a terrible job). The thing that makes corporations structurally great—a focus on the bottom line, measured in dollars—often doesn’t account for other interests like human welfare, future generations, the environment. So what if you could create a currency for those externalities?

    TAGGED: writing thought cryptocurrency

  5. Ocean Unknown →

    Inspiring, and alarming, talk by two ocean explorers:

    “Life came from the oceans,” Thys concluded. “And the life in them continues to nurture life everywhere. We owe them some nurture back.”

    And check out this excellent short that prefaced the talk. 

  6. May 13, 2014, New York City