"A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We have always been a lean company. We stay this way by building relationships with professionals and teams who can collaborate with us when we need them, and when we don’t need them, they are lending their expertise to other organizations, or working for themselves. Many of our collaborators have been with us for more than a decade.
We also employ the practice of working with people and organizations on small projects first, wherever possible, before engaging in longer-term projects or employment (we learned from ReWork, by Jason Fried). This week’s work highlights our company’s efforts to build our internal and extended team. We will collaborate with them to help our community.
This week we had a meetings with:
- Our consultant Adam Linn, who will be coming on board as a full time employee
- Our product development partners, Simplexity PD
- Our public relations and community development collaboration with Alex Daly and the Daly PR team
- The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
- Conversations with current and potential future investors
We have been collaborating with Adam Linn for one day a week since May of 2018. Originally, we reached out to him to see if he would be interested in learning ELIA Frames and helping us with a pilot reader program. Through it Adam became one of the fastest ELIA Frames readers. And through our interviews with him, he began advising us on everything from strategy to font design.
This week Adam agreed to join the team as a full-time employee and serve as our head of community development. He will lead efforts to build relationships within the consumer community and to institutional partners. He will also continue with his role on our corporate strategy team.
Read more on our team page.
This week we reviewed Simplexity’s design input requirements (DIR) documentation for the TouchPrinter™. A DIR provides guidance for the advance development of a product. It includes technology to be used, required performance of the end product, end user requirements, etc. To give you some examples of what is considered, this week we discussed the performance of components that will be in the printer, what sizes and weights of paper would be accepted by the printer, its physical footprint requirements, desired print speed, firmware needed to integrate subsystems, and the prioritization of features and benefits. The DIR will be updated throughout the development process. It will guide each of the ELT team as well as Simplexity’s team, all the way through to the printer's design-for-manufacturing.
We completed negotiations to work with Alex Daly and her team at Daly PR. During our Kickstarter campaign (in the spring of 2018) we were fortunate to work with Alex’s crowdfunding team (known then as Vann Alexandra). They were a major part of the success of the campaign. One of the signature successes of the campaign was the dozens of articles in the press we were able to attract.
We valued her collaboration and reached out to her in late 2018 to see if she would be interested in working together again outside of a Kickstarter. Fortunately, she was!
Once we have raised our next round of financing, Daly PR will help us 1) form new stories for press coverage, 2) find corporate partners to grow our movement, 3) engage target and impact audiences in an interactive and meaningful way, 4) introduce us to audiences with whom we can share our work (e.g. design teams in companies that seek to better serve marginalized communities).
The collaboration we sought isn’t what one would expect of a traditional PR firm. And as Daly PR has so much more capacity beyond just traditional PR, we felt it would be more rewarding and enjoyable to work with them as a more integral part of our outreach efforts. So we gave them a wish list of all the ways we would like to work with them and where we felt they could help make our movement happen. We discussed it with them and they shared their thoughts, and together we made concrete realistic plans for a new kind of partnership. It might be called a PR partnership, but we both expect that it will be much, much more!
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Thanks to an advisor of ours, Anthony Woods of Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, we were introduced to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. This past week we met with them and began discussions regarding how ELIA Life can collaborate with them, federal, state and local government, and local organizations to help our the city utilize ELIA Frames. We brainstormed about what avenues we might take to serve the Brooklyn community. It is the early stages of our relationship with the Chamber. We’ll keep you updated.
We had a number of conversations with investors and advisors regarding our current round of financing. These centered on the amount of financing we should raise. We have set milestones and we’ve estimated what capital we will need to reach them. Some are longer term than others. Our advisors have shared helpful advice in this regard. We are still forming a consensus on whether to raise a round that is enough capital for a national initiative, or one through which we can demonstrate more regional adoption.
Label Development and Production
Adam Linn has invited a baseball teammate of his to join us this current week, with the goals of teaching his teammate ELIA Frames and of providing the gentleman with labels that can help him do his professional work more easily. The specific task he would like help with is labeling folders. This week Byron created label sets using adhesive transfer samples from 3M. We shared them with Adam, who critiqued them. All went well, there will be some minor adjustments, then we will print the requested labels for our new contact. It will be exciting to see how he feels about the labels.