At Mmindd Labs, we take time seriously. Like everyone else we know, even the most mindful, we struggle with it. We think about it. We design for it. But more important than time itself is attending to time. And more important yet than attending to time is attending to life - to the multiple overlapping streams of time that comprise the beautifully complicated lives of each of us who is already a part of the Mmindd Labs journey.
The journey we intend to chronicle here was sparked in late 2011, at a workshop titled “Owning Your Power As a Female Leader” given by our friends Phyllis Brock and Laurie Coe at the incomparable Stillheart, amongst the redwoods off Skyline Boulevard over Palo Alto. Hyper-aware of the passage of time because I was just weeks into a new twist of the braided rope of my beautiful multithreaded life, I headed up the ridge the night before to do what Stillheart calls ‘a personal retreat.‘ (highly recommended!) It was pouring rain. Of epic proportion. Turns out I was the lone overnight guest. In the silence of that evening and the energy of that day with a dozen other women, aged 28-58, emerged yet another layer of awareness of time. More specifically, of the convergence of several layers or streams of time. Personal. Professional. Technological. Economic. Cultural.
“The Lean Startup” was on the best seller list. The power of women as consumers, as leaders, as culture- and behavior- shapers and, even, as entrepreneurs was being trumpeted everywhere. The iPad was poised to double its install base over a few weeks in December. The health 2.0 market I'd had been circling for a few years was starting to evidence real learning on the parts of vendors, ‘providers’ and ‘patients’ and real shifts in what normal people are coming to expect of themselves. Despite, or perhaps because of, continuing high levels of stress due to the stereo crises referred to as The Economy and “multitasking”.
A value proposition hypothesis was born. Tools for multi-minding. Helping people visualize and attend to their intentionally complicated beautiful lives. Learning from the behavior “in the wild” of generations of women. Responding to almost desperate calls to incorporate mindfulness practices and energy management in workplaces and work/lifestyles before the Millennials do lasting damage to themselves.
To quote the justly famous Rabbi Hillel, “if not now, when?”
Months of ideation, user exploration, and co-creation later (including multi-day Advances that drew Advance Team members from across the country, layering Mmindd onto their day jobs), a vision, a pitch, a core team, and the bones of a “creation space” are emerging. (Thank you John Seely Brown and John Hagel for the notion of ‘creation space” as the key innovation strategy for the era of Pull). More than thirty five people have drawn portraits for us of their minds and validated - or challenged - our premises.
No, we weren’t born in a weekend. And we're still a little ways away from a usable MVP. But we’ve also never taken up residence “inside the building”, preferring (as women often do) to run our thinking by scores of peoples and just say yes when folks like what they hear so much they want to help. Call this slo-creation, if you like.
The thing is, going slow up front means you go faster later.
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