One of the cool things about heading back into the corporate world (for those that do not know, I have taken a position in The Home Depot’s online supply chain division at their corporate HQ in Atlanta), is being part of the online team which is different from the “core” side (or the store side) of the business.
The online world changes fast and as such, our leadership team has committed to exploring new ideas and hearing about the success stories of others in the online space.
This week, we had the pleasure of bring Zach Klein to our headquarters, allowing him to talk about what he’s up to and his philosophy about business. If you have ever watched something on Vimeo, you can thank Zach. He was one of the co-founders of that site. When he started it, it was not to be a competitor for YouTube which he said is where you’d go to find SNL clips. He said the goal for Vimeo:
“We wanted to make something that was personal and allowed people to say something about themselves.”
He edits a blog called Cabin Porn (no it’s not what you think! Get your mind out of the gutter!) and the CEO of DIY. I’ll get to DIY in a moment.
Clearly Zach has a heart for education, but one that certainly goes above and beyond traditional education. He admitted that he’s kind of “punk” with regard to education insomuch he said that it needed to be “undermined” in a sense because “trying to change schools systems is like trying to parallel park a cruise ship.”
There were a couple of points he made about kids from his talk that I wanted to share:
“Kids are instinctively scientists and explorers.”
“Kids are fearless in experimenting and creating.”
“Kids naturally collaborate and divvy up roles.”
He spoke of a survey done of 5th graders asking which of them were “creative.” 95% said they were. Seven years later as those same kids were 12th graders, only 5% of them were creative.
He wanted to do something to create an environment where kids could unleash their creative side, make it social and for the sake of parents, keep it safe. Thus, he launched DIY.org It is described this way:
DIY is a club for Makers to earn Skills. DIY Makers do challenges, share their work with the community, and earn patches for the Skills they accomplish.
DIY was founded in November 2011. We’re a bunch of makers and doers. We’ve made websites, online communities, offline communities, films, cars, games, robots, sculptures, and houses.
Here are some screen shots of the Photography skill and a few of the challenges:
Do you agree with Zach about kids and education? Why or why not?