from Carrotmob


Hey friends, today I’m going to take the time to bring you all up to speed on everything. Why today? Cause I need something from you, natch. Ha, so typical, I know. Some of you are waiting for a response to your email or blog comment, and busy Brent only comes around to write to you when he’s asking for something. Well don’t worry, I’m doing my best to write back to everyone eventually, and I’m not going to ask you for a favor without dishing out some of that sweet info you’ve been waiting on. I really do feel like you are all overdue for an update anyway. So first, here’s what I need your help finding:

PHP Developers
Web Designers
Graphic Artists

We are hiring. If you are one of those people, send us an email with some info about yourself. We are most likely looking to hire developers in the SF Bay Area, but that’s not an absolute rule. Also if you think you would be a phenomenal addition to the team in some other position that we’re not hiring for yet, that’s cool, drop us a line. We will keep your info on file for future hiring (although we may not be able to write back to everyone at this point). We have plenty of volunteer opportunities coming up as well, so write us if you want a piece of that.

Now, let’s break this update into a few sections: The Fundamentals, The Team, The Future Plan

The Fundamentals

Tales of the first campaign continue to spread all across the land! I have video of the contractors installing new lights at K & D Market, so that’s some nice proof of something, but I haven’t edited the footage yet. A lot of people and groups have gotten in touch to see how they can get involved with Carrotmob. There are lots of cool partnerships that we are pursuing, and lots more we are not pursuing. The first person I teamed up with is Steve Newcomb (more on him below). We are co-founding a for-profit company called Virgance. Virgance will be a sort of umbrella company that will oversee a series of projects focused on using networks of people to create positive social change. The first product of Virgance is Carrotmob. That is, almost all of our resources are going towards Carrotmob right now and in the near future. After we get Carrotmob humming along and changing the world like we want, we plan to release additional projects which are sort of up the same alley. I won’t get into those ideas right now. We are in the process of trying to raise money from some angel investors. We’re not rushing this process too much because it’s important for us to find the right fit. We have a lot of special things we want to do with this company, such as maintaining high levels of transparency, and basically not acting like depraved single-bottom-line-focused scoundrels. So we want to take funding from people who are going to be more in line with this approach. Our office right now is a combination of our houses, Morning Due Cafe at 17th and Church, and the office of another friendly company downtown where we spend a lot of time squatting in vacant conference rooms. The last fundamental piece of news is that I have officially left my last job and I’m now working on this full-time, at long last!

The Team

Y’all know me. Now we are 3 more.


Steve NewcombSteve is the other equal co-founder of Virgance/Carrotmob. He brings to the table all the things that I lack. And then some. He’s a 38 year old experienced entrepreneur who looks younger than me. He knows a lot about “business” and “finance” and “investors” and “how to start a company”. On those topics my level of expertise ranks somewhere in between Nicole Richie and Chief Wiggum. That’s decent company, but we should all be glad that Steve is around to provide the valuable analysis that only he is capable of teasing out of an Excel spreadsheet. But is Steve just “the business guy” of Carrotmob? HEAVENS no. He is an activist, committed to creating positive social change and making environmentalism as effective as possible. I believe he is actually MORE insane than I am. He thinks BIG. One of his many projects is SF Green, a big environmental event series in the Bay Area that brings the “green” people together with the “tech” people and spurs them to solve problems together. Also today we should all give a big congrats to Steve. His last company was Powerset, which he co-founded, and yesterday it was announced that Powerset was just acquired by Microsoft for around $100 million. So there’s that.


Jacob Park – Jacob is a long-time rabblerouser with a professional background in human rights advocacy, political activism, and environmental sustainability. He has a razor sharp strategic mind when it comes to organizing all sorts of grassroots campaigns and loves to dream up creative new ways to stick it to the Man. His most recent political performance art piece required seven planes, two helicopters, one marching band, a bike-mounted laser, and several thousand intrepid souls. He recently moved from Brooklyn to SF to get his MBA in Sustainable Management and to reduce the carbon footprint of his wine drinking.

Naseem_2 Naseem Hakim – Naseem is our lead developer and exalted sorcerer of technology. I first met him a year and a half ago when he got me into the Paypal holiday party. Ha! So he used to work at Paypal and since then has been doing things that I would explain, but even the slightest contemplation of his projects would cause your mere mortal mind to explode, and Virgance just can’t handle that liability (at least until we get funded).

The Future Plan

We are at the very early stages of planning more Carrotmob campaigns, and we hope to get a couple going in the next couple months, but that’s not our focus. You’re wondering why. I know you are wondering why because you are emailing me constantly with ideas. You got rid of styrofoam lunch trays at PS154 in Brooklyn, and you want us to help you do more. You want to make the British film production industry more sustainable. You want to start Carrotmob chapters in Israel, Australia, Brasil, South Africa…. What this demonstrates is NOT that the 4 of us here in San Francisco need to start flying around the world planning more campaigns. It demonstrates that we need to empower you all to run campaigns. You will be the strength and lifeblood of Carrotmob. I ran the only Carrotmob campaign to date. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t difficult either. All of you can pull this off, and many of you desperately want to. So our focus in the near future is going to be on creating a system that makes it easy for you to plan campaigns. We want to give you information resources, access to experts, and most importantly, a vibrant social network of like-minded citizens in your location that you will be able to tap into to make your campaigns successful. Another couple months of waiting should be a small price to pay if we can pull that off. So start thinking of what YOU might want to organize when the time is right. The other angle we want to take at some point is the big global brands. When will it be time to have a face-off between the toothbrush companies? Coke vs Pepsi? Hanes vs Fruit of the Loom? We think that should come later. Our attempts at campaigns like that will be much stronger once we’ve built out a larger global network of consumers.

That’s the update! Let us know what you think, and don’t forget to send some good PHP developers our way…Thank you for your patience and support!