Loomio Company Update #2

Each group in the Enspiral umbrella is encouraged to write a ‘company update’ every couple of months to keep the whole network up to speed with all the projects going on. This is our second update, it is an attempt to capture a few of the huge number of exciting occurrences in the last two months in LoomioLand:

…we launched a PledgeMe campaign, which raised $5k+, but more importantly pushed us out into the public spotlight a little more, and forced us to refine our messaging.

…our regular Friday morning meetings have gone from about 6 people to about 12. I’m not going to try to name everyone but some heavy hitters:

  • Kiesia has added some serious chops to the dev team, helping to take the app through a complete overhaul when we shifted gears from a decision-centric to a discussion-centric platform.
  • Viv has come in with her wealth of community organisation/business development/management experience and appreciably raised the standard of performance from the whole team: it’s been great to see her learning and teaching at the same rate.

…at the retreat we had a chance to make deeper connections with a lot of people that have been helping remotely. There were many highlights on that front but particularly valuable connections:

  • getting to know Craig and have him shine his colossal insight on the project
  • having Rob sink his teeth into the code again
  • getting Linc’s tremendous start-up experience to illuminate our strategies

…we’ve sketched out a strategy that should take us to break-even. We’re hoping to get some big open source projects using Loomio, which will provide validation and opportunities to siphon off a few volunteers to work on the app, and expand the user base in preparation for our next round of crowd funding ($100-200k launching in September).

…we’ve made a lot of progress on our structure. We’re setting ourselves up so the ‘core members’ function as kaitiaki or stewards of the vision, to maintain the kaupapa while continuously opening ourselves out to ever-increasing input, transparency and distribution of power.

…we got a visit from former mayor and current chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council Fran Wilde, who is excited by the reshuffle of local government (don’t call it the super city) as an opportunity for Loomio to create the environment for neighbourhood decision-making that can then be expanded to the regional level. “I’ve been in every level of policy-making in NZ and we’ve never nailed this.”

…we got some good press with stories running on Idealog, ReadWriteWeb, National Radio and RadioActive.

…we’ve learned HEAPS:

  1. Realizing the importance of the symbiotic relationship between Loomio and Enspiral. Loomio wouldn’t have come to existence without Enspiral, and Enspiral would have a hard time getting where it wants without a tool like Loomio.
  2. PledgeMe was more about refining our story and getting press and new users than raising funds.
    Having many different faces (i.e. business, arts, community, etc) has been a huge boon to our messaging efforts. (e.g. arts stories about Loomio in the press through 19 Tory St)

  3. The idea of Loomio, even the sketchiest telling of it, is immensely attractive to almost everyone who comes across it. People think of potential uses with little prompting. It generates enthusiasm. Doors open. An idea whose time has totes come.
  4. The dev team have made tremendous progress in developing a better process for their workflow, resulting in work and meetings being much more productive and focused.
  5. The congruence of means and ends & the power of using the values and vision of Loomio to grow Loomio.
  6. Realizing how much people at all levels of large organisations love venting about the shortcomings of the hierarchical bureaucracy they’re working within – and how much these respectable professionals love using the words “bullshit” and “fucked” while describing their workplaces.

Author: Richard D. Bartlett

Loomio co-founder; open source hardware and software hacker; activist;

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