Experimenting with open source, community, Kickstarter… and a glut of cooking metaphors

I really enjoy highlighting projects other folks are creating. Really really. Conversely, I always hate highlighting my own projects. That’s not why I started this blog. This is always weird. Still, I wanted to let folks know that PIE—the ongoing experiment between the Portland startup community and Wieden+Kennedy that I helped cofound and continue to run—is changing what it’s doing. And that may impact you.

If you’re not familiar with the history of PIE, the collaboration started as a conversation. Then became a coworking space. Then it morphed into an early stage startup accelerator. Now, it’s taking all of that learning—nearly a decade of working with startups, at this point—and giving it away. So that more awesome people can help more awesome startups and make everything more, well, awesome.

We’re calling this next phase of the experiment the PIE Cookbook. And while it’s on Kickstarter, we care way more about building community and raising the visibility of the project than raising capital. But if that really poor description of what we’re doing has piqued your interest, you should act now. And kick in a buck. Because the campaign ends on April 1, 2016.

PIE was born in Portland, Oregon, and Portland has long been a hub of open source activity and community. A significant number of the startups PIE has accelerated grew out of that very same open source community—and the hackathons, collaborations, and distributed user groups it has spawned. So it seemed only reasonable that we, in turn, participate as good open source citizens and share our learnings.

That’s why we’re not just documenting our learnings. We want to open source the PIE Cookbook. So what we’ve learned will be accessible to everyone. For free. To use as they see fit. And hopefully to continue to test, debug, contribute, update, and improve as time goes on. Because that just helps everyone.

I realize that this may be the last thing you’d find interesting, but if you’re sitting there at work or in a coffeeshop and trying to look like you’re busy, I am happy to blather on far too long about why I’m excited about this open source project.

But honestly, if this doesn’t seem compelling, you’re probably the exact perfect person to be reading this and joining in on the project. Because if you think the concept of accelerators is broken or played out or even just plain wrong, this is the fodder you’re looking for. Because we’re seriously hoping someone takes these concepts, ideas, and failures and does something far more interesting with them.

For more information or to join our private PIE Cookbook Slack instance with all kinds of awesome folks, please back the project before April 1 by visiting the PIE Cookbook on Kickstarter.

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