Startup Culture with Jeff Hemmett

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Startup culture is fascinating to me.  Jeff Hemmett nurtured my love of startups in our conversation about creating school cultures to be more like startups.  We discussed the importance of teaching the design thinking process in classrooms and schools because employing the design process in solving problems leads to a much better end result.

Startup Culture Builds Community

Startups have started to realize that gathering their users together in a safe space builds community.  Then offering a way for the community to give feedback builds loyalty and understanding and empathy when things are in a constant state of continuous improvement and change.  Some of the startups I’ve interviewed are great at this.  The BreakoutEdu community has over 1500 people in a Facebook group that was started about 8 weeks ago.  Classcraft has 16,483 fans on their Facebook page.  These startups know that giving people who love the product a place to unite adds tons of value for the individuals using the product but also the company because startups can see and hear the pain points experienced by the users and make adjustments.

Schools exist in communities, so that is sort of built in, but I wonder what would happen if schools provided a safe space for people to convene and discuss celebrations and concerns. What would happen if schools became more transparent and let the community know what the goals were and the way the school intended to reach the goals.  What would happen if schools asked their communities what their priorities were instead of determining the priorities based on state initiatives and mandates.  What would happen if the schools took feedback from the stakeholders?  What would happen if the school said, “Yes, if….” instead of “No, because….” Imagine the culture shift that would create!

Definitely check out Jeff’s TEDx talk too:

We talked about these things too:



Social School 4 Edu

Will Richardson

Simon Sinek’s TED talk

Filament Games


1 Comment

  1. Michele Hill on 02/29/2016 at 5:56 PM

    Awesome comparison to how we can create a culture of excellence and innovation in our schools!

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