OutInUnder September 2017 Newsletter 
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September 2017 Newsletter
Swapping Stories from the Great Outdoors.
(Be sure and display images!)
No Thanks, I'll Do It Myself
There was no doubt I was making it up as I went along when I started my career as a IT guy. (See How I Won My Career in Colossal Cave.)

Talking to dozens of outdoor industry folks, it's become clear that this was the rule not the exception. There's something about being willing to go off-trail that carries over into the way we do business.

To witness:

Bob Woodward: 
      Without question, the Sierra Designs retail store at Fourth and Addison was an adventure. Every move was according to whim more than standard business practices. We learned as we went along on a unscripted journey.

Arela Beary:
...anything that I felt I could do I sort of took upon myself; personnel, payroll, whatever.  Making something happen and not just marking time...you come out at the end of the day feeling really good.

This insight was reinforced recently in a conversation with Dan Castner, Henry Gruchacz, and Kevin Smith. Highlights and links below.
Henry: Bob Swanson said, "You know, your work is coming to an end. You want to come with us? We would hire you. You can take over production." I was good at driving nails, but I didn't know anything about production.
Dan: ...the idea was also to get some outdoor experience 'cause in Ohio we just had forest. I applied for Outward Bound  and was accepted in Colorado on the Continental Divide in February. I did the Advanced. In the Advanced you had to know how to ski. I said I knew how to ski. But I didn't.
Kevin: Bruce Hamilton sought me out and asked me if I wanted to be the new Personnel Manager. Noting to him that I had absolutely no background or education in this area (or any area!), I said yes.
I'm going to add a few more below the founder's notes. (I can't resist.) Anyone that's into the Lean Startup ethos can see we were ahead of the curve on the new hotness....pioneers, baby!!
Founder's Notes:  

I'm looking for collaborators!

What stories do your Grandparents tell that you would like your Grandchildren to hear? 

After trying all sorts of ways to gather tribal stories, the only way that has consistently worked is to gather folks face to face (or in a Skype call) and tell stories.

The rub: someone has to be the scribe that records their tribe or family.

I'm giving this a shot for the Berkeley outdoor biz tribe.

Right not I'm looking for one (and only one) other tribe or family that wants to use the platform to capture their stories. Could you be their scribe? See the Big Ask below for details.

Too much? How about just having a conversation or helping head up a party? See 'Little Asks' below.

One announcement. Thanks to Lars Dohse we have more early catalogs available. I'll give a complete list next newsletter when I've got them all loaded.

Last, stay informed. if you're not keeping up on the attack on Public Lands here's the latest.

Hail Xaos,

The Big Ask: Could the tribal scribe be you?

I'd like to add one and, for now, only one other totally unrelated group to OutInUnder.

I provide:
  • Coding to provide a container so the site looks like home to your group just like it now looks focused on the Outdoor Biz.
  • Technical assistance
  • Transcriptions of any audio or video content you capture
You provide:
  • Stories you capture from your group. 
  • They don't have to be meaningful to everyone. They shouldn't be. The do need to be meaningful to you.
  • Stories do two things.
    • They root us in what we've found valuable in the past
    • They provide paths forward to new members of the tribe when confronting obstacles.
  • Knowing family stories has, for example, been the key component of resiliency in teenagers and young adults. I think this is of significance in itself and a pointer to the way stories work.

And a few other MIni-Asks:
  1. If you and some of your cohort would like to do a story capture session, let me know. It's lots of fun. I've reached out to a few people already.
  2. Halloween. We've had the occasional Mountain Hardwear Reunion Bash on Halloween. It might be fun to set up a semi-regular all Bay Area Outdoor Companies event. I've got a great mailing list at this point but no bandwidth this year. Anyone want to take charge? We've done potlucks, so they're pretty easy to organize.

More DIY career comments:

Bruce Hamilton:
     During this time, Hap and Mark were allowing me (my actual job was “Quality Control and Engineering Manager”) to spend time in the design roomMy early attempts at making a “tensegrity tent” were not productive. 

Dan Castner: 
     You know what is interesting is that if you had a degree, you weren’t going to get hired. You had to be a backpacker. And finally, after a while, they decided that maybe the accounting guys needed a degree. 

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To help make it easy to see the most recent stories, we have one-stop Landing Pages:
Berkeley Backpacking Biz
Mountain Hardwear
Sierra Designs
The North Face 
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