JasonFriedCircle02Flat“I continue to love what you’re doing. Great ideas.” – Jason Fried, Founder, Basecamp

Short stories.

Who: Quintuple CEO, Tina Roth Eisenberg.
Need: Life balance strategies.
Intro: Meg Hirshberg.

NewTinatoMeg01

When we saw Tina Roth Eisenberg blog about the challenges of running five companies while raising a family, we were confident we could connect her with someone who’d make a difference.

So we treated her to lunch with Meg Hirshberg, an expert on the subject and the author of For Better or for Work. Tina: “It was the best lunch date of my life. We were there for two and a half hours, but we could easily have stayed for five.”

Who: Eugene Mirman, Anil Dash, & 20 others.
Need: More time for passion projects.
Intro: Each other.

EugeneAndKatieWithPlayButton02

We work with a lot of creative professionals. Nearly all struggle with the same problem: making time for passion projects.

So we invited twenty of them, including Eugene Mirman, Anil Dash, Jessica Hische, and Sarah Parmenter, to come together in the English Cotswolds for a few days and try to solve it. We called this mini-conference a “Meddle”. Above is a little film made about it by the ultra-talented Sugarmaple duo, Aidan Hornsby and Joseph Brett.

Who: CEO, Phil Caravaggio.
Need: An interim CTO.
Intro: Pete Forde.

NewPhiltoPete02

Phil Caravaggio, the CEO of Precision Nutrition, reached out to us for help finding an interim Chief Technical Officer. He wanted help taking his software development team in a new direction.

So we introduced him to Pete Forde. Pete has made a big difference for Precision Nutrition. He’s also had a great time: “Phil is the best client I’ve ever had.”

Who: British copywriter, Mike Reed.
Need: Clients in the United States.
Intro: 25 connections in 3 U.S. cities.

NewMiketoAmerica01

We reached out to British copywriter Mike Reed to help one of our clients. In that first conversation, he revealed a strong desire to expand his client base into the United States.

So we sent him on a two-week, three-city tour to meet folks like Michael Bierut, Jim Coudal, and Craig Ward. He landed several very large clients, including one we’re all still in disbelief about. Mike blogged the whole trip.

Who: iPad app maker, Raul Gutierrez.
Need: Long-term investing advice.
Intro: Larry Swedroe.

NewRaulToLarry02

Raul Gutierrez and Tina Roth Eisenberg wanted authoritative advice on long-term investment strategy, for their families and their companies.

So we arranged for them to have a home-cooked dinner with Larry Swedroe, one of the world’s most respected evidence-based investment thinkers.

Who: Blogger, Anil Dash.
Need: Closer connections with followers.
Intro: Sean Michaels.

NewSeanToAnil01

Over the years, we’ve noticed that it’s very hard for influential people to identify and develop real relationships with their most thoughtful fans.

So we flew first-time novelist and blogger Sean Michaels, a big fan of Anil Dash, from Montreal to New York City to have dinner with him. Many more of these dinners are in the works.

Who: Wordpress developer, Josh Cunningham.
Need: A great boss to work for.
Intro: Jake Goldman.

NewJoshToJake01

Josh Cunningham, a talented, independent WordPress consultant, who had read about us on Hacker News, reached out to say hello. In our first conversation, we could tell that, though he loved working with clients, he didn’t like how running his own business impinged on time with his family.

So we introduced him to Jake Goldman, the founder of the world’s best and fastest-growing WordPress consultancy, 10up. Josh joined Jake’s staff a few months later.

Who: Online dating coach, Virginia Roberts.
Need: A top-drawer filmmaker.
Intro: Aidan Hornsby.

VirginiaAndAidan01

Virginia Roberts, an online dating coach, reached out to us, frustrated with the production value of the videos on her website. She needed someone to guide her in how to make improvements.

So we introduced her to Aidan Hornsby, one of the Sugarmaples who made the film about the Meddle, and an expert in putting together filmmaking kits for clients.

Who: The Semaan-Vernon family.
Need: Closer friends in Brooklyn.
Intro: The Shapiro-Peraza family.

SilaAndLucoBW900x676

Celine Vernon, founder of Slow Factory, contacted us to find out more about our services. During our first conversation, we learned that she, her husband, Colin, and their young daughter, Sila, had been in the United States for less than a year and wanted to meet other parents with kids.

So we arranged for them to have a picnic in Prospect Park with fellow Brooklynites, Jenna Shapiro, Deroy Peraza, and their young son, Luco. The familes have since become close. That’s a picture of Luco and Sila kissing goodbye on Luco’s doorstep, after the picnic.

Who: Sugarmaples around the world.
Need: Deeper, closer friendships.
Intro: Each other, in-residence.

Sugarmaples are extraordinarily compatible. They develop friendships almost automatically. But, as we all know, physical proximity has an enormous impact on the closeness of relationships.

So, with the very substantial help of world-renowned architects, Dan Rockhill and David Sain, co-founders of Rockhill and Associates and Studio 804, we’re developing residences for Sugarmaples. The concept is heavily influenced by Cornell Adult University and their model for bringing life-long learners together.

How we work.

We believe in absolute ethics. We make connections for every Sugarmaple who approaches us, for free. If we think the best person to connect them to is a Sugarmaple service provider – a brand designer, video production company, or commercial realtor, for example – we arrange for them to meet. If they end up working with that service provider and both indicate to us, explicitly, that they’re thrilled with the relationship, the service provider pays us a small commission.

If this approach to business resonates, you may enjoy reading our Pudding Manifesto.

PuddingManifesto270-1Cropped

Or you can read more about our backstory here.