Lessons And Reflections From Krypton Course #001

If you didn’t know, Seth Godin and his team created the Krypton Community College over the summer of 2013. The gist: get together with people to discuss, learn and create together. (Here’s the link to the first course Krypton Course #001 Go: How to Overcome Fear, Pick Yourself, & Start a Project that Matters)

The following are lessons and reflections I thought it was necessary to share.

Week one

1. You don’t need a huge group. My team started with a total of two students and one organizer. Then it dwindled to one student and one organizer. It only takes two to tango.

2. Everyone has similar fears. But they won’t believe that statement until someone speaks up and shares their fears.

3. Fear can be narrowed down to either fear of embarrassment or fear of injury. Surprisingly, people would rather risk injury than risk embarrassment. Wow.

4. Fear – the 20 second rule

Week two

1. You can plan (not set) a path for creating projects that add up to a valuable portfolio of experiences. There’s a middle ground between setting something up and allowing for complete spontaneity. Find that sweet spot.

2. Finding your edge is crucial for success. You can’t find it alone, though.

3. Feel free to read Start Schooling Dreams.

Week three

1. Committment means something different for everyone.

2. Not everything you create should be shared. Not everything you create should be kept secret. Make time for what you keep private, make more time for what you share.

3. As the famous Hugh MacLeod said, “Ignore everybody.”

4. Let what you create and share go. You’re better off creating something else, something new. Once you deliver something, detach yourself from it and go make something else remarkable.

5. Success is not a straight line. (obvious, but worth mentioning again)

Week four

1. If you’re going to share your project idea with someone, make sure they have a project idea to share with you too. Sharing your idea with someone who doesn’t have one leaves you with everything to lose. Sharing your project idea with someone who has a project idea too leaves both of you with everything to gain. (I can’t fully explain the dynamic. You will have to trust me on this one without a long explanation.)

2. You’re going to talk about your project idea and get excited. Make a conscious decision beforehand that you will use that excitement for action and not settle at just talking about it. This is the most difficult part of the entire course.


Stay Positive & I Hope You Will Give It A Shot*

Garth E. Beyer

*if you live in Madison, Wisconsin, let me know. I will be holding course #002 at the start of 2014.


Let’s Start Schooling Dreams

Even though I’ve worked on writing this for nearly a year, and worked on researching this for 16 years, this may not work.

Just over a year ago Seth Godin asked everyone, “What do you think we ought to do about education?”

Well, here is my answer: Start Schooling Dreams (click the link to download)

Start Schooling Dreams is my 35,000 word manifesto answering the question. It’s completely free and I will be working on creating different formats of it to suit your liking – I simply couldn’t wait any longer to give it to you.

I want to make one thing clear before you open up and start reading. The goal here is to start asking questions and you’ll hopefully realize this very quickly as you read. This also means that I want you to ask me questions. Let’s get a discussion going, let’s connect, let’s change what school is for.

Feel free to print this out, email it to friends, family, teachers, random school administrators.

After you start reading, I encourage you to come back to this page and leave a comment giving a shout out to “that one teacher.”

Lastly, thank you for giving this a shot, for facing the obvious, for making time to act. I truly appreciate all you’ve already done, all you’re doing, and all you’ll be wanting to do. What do you say? Let’s Start Schooling Dreams.


Stay Positive & Yea, Things Are Going To Change

Garth E. Beyer

Start Schooling Dreams (Speech)

A few weeks ago, with my upcoming (now partially released) eBook, Start Schooling Dreams, I presented a speech to my Toastmasters club on three chapters of SSD.

Responses: “Fantastic & engaging. Excellent job w/ including the entire audience.” I even curved some mindsets of people who regard themselves as true “schoolies.” Above all, every single person couldn’t help but note my passion for it. I truly am passionate about improving school/education/learning, whatever you want to title it. Without further ado, here is my speech. (I’ll start videotaping them from now on.)


*Welcoming Applaus*

Alright, I’m going to ask you just a couple questions and I reallllly want you to raise your hand to answer.

How many of you have a passion for something?

How many of you found this passion, whether it is just a hobby or an actual job, from school?

It’ll be easier for you all to see if I asked it this way, how many of you developed your passion outside of school?

Yes this speech is partially about where you find your passion, but more about where you don’t find it; school.

One more question, let’s imagine this room being occupied by a real teacher and packed with real students. And the teacher asks a question, how many of you are passionate about this class? *No hands go up… people laugh at the realization*

Education is racing … to the bottom.  And I want to cover three points out of my 35,000 word manifesto I’ve written called Start Schooling Dreams. Since the Pygmalion affect, impatience, and accidents are three separate chapters in my book, I’m going to make it easy for you to catch my transitions.

Whenever I ask you a new question, I’m going to lead into the next topic and I’ll expect you to acknowledge by raising your hands or nodding your head. Does that sound fair enough? [Yes… that was a question]

Pygmalion Effect

I took a sociology class a couple of years ago and I loved it. Particularly, I loved asking questions in the class. Not just any questions, specific types of questions. Questions that couldn’t be answered, questions that made you think. But one day, I asked a question thinking I was being sly again, but I got an answer back. And that answer still scares me to this day.

We were learning about the Pygmalion effect, also known as the Rosenthal effect. It refers to the observable fact that the greater the expectation of a student, the better they perform.

I raised my hand during one sociology lesson and asked my question …

“Are teachers taught about the Pygmalion effect?”

I wasn’t the only one shocked at the answer, all the students and even the teacher were taken aback.

Am I wrong to think that a single teacher can’t have a powerful and positive expectation of only 30 students?

I have seen teachers tell other teachers how a student is a bad student, how they don’t listen, or that they aren’t very smart. I have also seen the teacher whom that was told to, change their behavior toward that student when she entered their class. As a result? The student became worse, listened less and became – dare I say it – even dumber.

All the while, the few “bright” students got brighter because the teachers challenged them and expected them to be “perfect” students.

Want to create passionate learners in school? Expect passionate learners.

Want to expect passionate learners? Hire teachers who understand the Pygmalion effect.


Who here is impatient?

Wonderful, I admire that. Impatience is a valuable talent to have and it’s a hard talent to acquire when going to school because school initiates patience. You have to be patient and wait to get to the next lesson and you have to wait until the class you really love that starts at 2:00pm. Worst of all, you have to wait until the class you despise is over. Day after day.

The most successful people on the planet can’t handle being patient. Younger versions of the most successful people in the world will, instead of memorizing facts in the class, exchange it with practicing their passion, planning to ship their product their letter, their art, and so on.

Teachers are meant to spark impatience but so few do. Out of the 30 plus teachers I’ve had, only one has wanted all the students to learn, to dream, to find and go after their passion. Only one out of 14+ years of school.

The need of the student isn’t to learn information; it’s to be motivated to learn it and the best way to motivate that is to spark impatience.

Accidents And Questions

Which came first, the dumb caveman or the fire?

Either way, the discovery of fire was an accident but that accident made a dumb caveman look smart – of course, after it made him seem dumb for touching it and burning himself.

What matters is that breakthroughs used to happen very often. It has died down, not because of everything that can be discovered has, but because we reprimand those who make accidents or constantly ask questions.  Without the curiosity and the mistakes of the caveman, we may never have evolved into who we are today.

The biggest successes in history were accidents or resulted from consistent questioning.

I found two great examples to share with you.

Will Keith Kellogg had accidentally left some boiled wheat sitting out and it went stale. Instead of throwing it away, Will and his brother Dr. John Harvey Kellogg put it through the rollers to make long sheets of dough. Once it went through, they realized the dough had turned into flakes which they decided to toast. Soon after, they chose to run the same experiment with corn and in 1906 the Kellogg’s company was created, along with the internationally known Corn Flakes.

Richard James, a naval engineer attempted to invent a spring that would stabilize the sensitivity of ships equipment. When a spring he had worked on fell off a shelf and continued moving away, the idea was sparked. With help from his wife, they decided to name the invention Slinky and have sold over 270 million globally.

Scientists, engineers, philosophers and alike, all became famous due to the questions they posed and accidents made. They would ask why until they either found an answer or created one.

Setting things on fire and seeing what happens is helpful too. If you think about it, you can’t be smart until you are dumb.

Now that we know what it means to be smart, what is success?

School is all about success but it’s taught us to love success instead of teaching us of what we are doing. School has said, “Here is success, follow this curriculum to get it.” When school really needs to be saying, “Where is success? How will you get there? How can I help?”

In school, the result holds significance. At the end of life though, is it the results we have attained that makes it a life worth lived, a significant life, one that was lived to the fullest?

Or at the end of life, is it the journey, the actions we took, the decisions we made, the experience we accumulated, the adventure we enjoyed and the understanding of it all that makes life, well, … Life.

The definition school has for “success” is all too wrong. And I knowing the Pygmalion effect, sparking impatience, and creating an environment open for accidents and failure are just three ways education can begin to change for the better. Let’s race to the top.


Stay Positive & If You Haven’t Already …Here Are The First 14 Chapters!

Garth E. Beyer

Start Schooling Dreams

Yes, it’s finally finished, but I can’t give it all away at once.


In light of three events,

1. Today is my birthday and I want to give you all a gift.

2. This is my 300th post, which means that this is important (to me and you).

3. I never pass up a chance to express the impact Seth Godin has made on me. He persuaded me to write and share my thoughts on education.


Below you can click to download the PDF version of the first 14 chapters of my upcoming eBook Start Schooling Dreams.

Start Schooling Dreams Ch. 1-14


Stay Positive & Next Week I Will Release Another Batch Of Chapters

Garth E. Beyer


If you would like to get the second batch of chapters early, email thegarthbox@gmail.com

One Thousand And One Nights (Of Media)

If you’re looking for a great story-teller, there is no one other to look to or compare to than the unbelievably talented Scheherazade (Shuh-Hare-uh-zahd). This goddess of storytelling delayed death by one thousand and one nights simply by telling stories. She did what every reporter, journalist, and center of the media dreams of, and for the same reasons; neither wants to die, be fired, or be humiliated. So what means of attack do they use against death in all its shapes and forms?


How important is storytelling?

For the eBook I have written called Start Schooling Dreams, I had asked Karthik Puvada, creator and writer of BeThePurpleCow, if he could add just one class to the school curriculum, what class would it be? Immediately, he responded “Storytelling”. I was not satisfied with his single word response, so I pried more to get the following;

“Martin Luther King, Jr.  Steve Jobs. Gandhi. Mark Twain.  Pablo Picasso.

What’s one thing they all have in common?  Yes, they were geniuses in their own fields, but they also were brilliant in something else too.


They told influential stories all throughout their lives. The stories that defined them. The stories that captivated millions of people around them. Some ended up as iconic books, some as revolutionary civil protests, some as incredible gadgets and some as legendary paintings. But they were all various forms of stories, more importantly ideas.”

You may now be wondering what this has to do with media. Since the introduction of media, the stories of Scheherazade and the incredible world changers that Karthik used as examples have only been amplified. That is what the media is capable of doing with a story – it amplifies it. Storytelling in the media takes on the cumulative effects theory in the sense that the urge for you to consume what the media is presenting is built up to the point of consumption rather than occurring immediately. Just as well, it can shift your views, beliefs, judgments and even your character as easily as it gets you to consume a product.

Like the stories of Scheherazade, the media uses all five elements of story to make a successful impact on your beliefs.

Exposition: the introduction of the topic the media is presenting

Rising action: the media provides specific information to the audience to build tension, suspense, and intrigue

Climax: what the media truly wants you to know and approve

Falling action: what the next steps are for you to take

Resolution: taking those actions and resonating them

Extraordinary storytelling and utilization of the media to amplify it can make you a legend, a millionaire, an artist, and a leader of social change.

My question to you is would you rather watch and listen to Steve Jobs tell a story or a misinformed underpaid reporter? Your answer shows exactly how good storytelling in the media affects what media content you consume.

Start Schooling Dreams: Chapter Preview

107. Idol study

A common question that is asked in elementary school is “who is your hero?” It makes you think about who you look up to, who you admire, who you take after. They have children already thinking about how to emulate the successful but then middle school, high school, and higher education never asks it again, never follows up, and never checks in to see who students are paying more attention to than the teachers.

Could you see anything wrong with a class that is centered on emulating the previously successful? As the saying goes, you can’t do the same thing and expect different results. But why would it matter when the results of legendary people are already that, legendary. See, these heroes, these role models, these idols we look up to and attach ourselves to, they produce more inspiration than all the teachers combined.

The worst that could happen in a class focused on emulating these inspirational idols is that the student falls short. Fortunately, falling short of being legendary is still better than the breadth of success students are attaining now.

Want to know more about the release of Start Schooling Dreams? Keep stopping by, email me, or tweet me @TheGarthBox


Stay Positive & Anticipated

Garth E. Beyer

Starbucks and CEO Howard Schultz (We Are #INDIVISIBLE)

Rewarding Everyday Moments

Before I even share the letter in which Howard Schultz has written to all of America, and before it is posted even more main stream this weekend, you need to understand the simplicity of judging a person like Howard. I have studied many of Starbucks marketing strategies as well as background info on the company and Howard. I have seen a few negative comments about Howard and I’d like to point out two simple details that will eleviate any negativie feelings.

First, Howard spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Taken from the Aspen Ideas Festival website, “For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has been the nation’s premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times. […] Imagine some of the most inspired and provocative thinkers, writers, artists, business people, teachers, and other leaders drawn from myriad fields and from across the country and around the world – all gathered in a single place, ready to teach, speak, lead, question and answer – all interacting with an audience of thoughtful people who have stepped back from their day-to-day routines to delve deeply into a world of ideas, thought and discussion. The week promises to be thought-provoking, meaningful and fun – true to Aspen tradition.”

Would a multimillionaire who is full of greed, who is evil or a terrible person attend this event, give a presentation and seek improvement in the world using this large of a platform? A platform that is centered on growth, on productivity and on trust.

The second minor detail which I hope no longer stays minor is the effort Howard has put towards employing Americans. Along with establishing the Create Jobs for USA organization, Howard has made America-focused choices such as creating a “new roasting plant in Augusta, Georgia that we could have located in Central America or Asia for 15% to 20% less, but we felt that creating 200 or so jobs domestically was more important.” [source]

Howard You Make A Difference

Before I share with you the letter Howard has written, it’s serendipitous that he has written this letter during a time period that I am doing an Unlocking Potential interview series with people who I know will make a different in their passion. It may also be coincidence that he shared the letter while I am in the final editing stage of my book Start Schooling Dreams (to be released at the beginning of August).

In Howard’s closing, he advocates for innovation and making a difference in the community to promote citizenship over partisanship. This is a major center of why I write. Everything I write is innovation, it’s to make a difference, it’s about unlocking potential in others, promoting people who care, really do care about learning, about coffee, about fashion about anything. These are the people who make the difference, these are the people who are like Howard Schultz, who are willing to stand up, speak out and try to create positive change, no matter how much resistance there is.

*More power to you Howard and even more power to those who have similar worldviews for change, whether it’s employment, civility, and politics or education, art and music.

Without further ado, you can read the full letter Howard Schultz has written to all of America below or click here to open it in a new window.

Creating Change In America

An Open Letter: How Can America Win This Election?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Posted by Howard S., Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer


On Independence Day, our country celebrates the promise of America.

It’s a day to remember that the principles that bind us together vastly outweigh what keeps us apart. The freedom to dream and the opportunity to create a better life – not just for ourselves, but for each other – has always defined our great nation.

I am a product of that American Dream. As a kid who grew up in public housing, went on to get an education at a state university and build a business, I am grateful for what this country has made possible for me. In turn, at Starbucks, we have always tried our best to honor our responsibility to the communities we serve.

And on this Fourth of July, our communities need all of us.

Across the country, millions of Americans are out of work. Many more are working tirelessly yet still unable to adequately care for their families. Our veterans are not being welcomed home with the level of support they deserve. Meanwhile, in our nation’s capital, our elected leaders are continuing to put ideology over real solutions. I love America, but we all know there is something wrong. The deficits this country must reconcile are much more than financial, and our inability to solve our own problems is sapping our national spirit. We are better than this. America’s history has showed that we have accomplished extraordinary things when we act collectively, with courage, creativity, and generosity of spirit—especially during trying times.

As we celebrate all that is great about our country, let’s come together and amplify our voices.

Let’s tell our government leaders to put partisanship aside and to speak truthfully about the challenges we face. Let’s ask our business leaders to create more job opportunities for the American economy. And as citizens, let’s all get more involved. Please, don’t be a bystander. Understand that we have a shared responsibility in solving our nation’s problems. We can’t wait for Washington.

At Starbucks, we are trying to live up to our responsibility by increasing our local community service and helping to finance small-business job creation with Create Jobs for USA. Our company is far from perfect, and we know we can do more for America. But we need your help. We need your voice.

Join the national conversation with #INDIVISIBLE. Starting today, I invite you to share your view of America, and how we can all put citizenship over partisanship. On Instagram, post a photo of the America we all need to see. On Twitter, provide a link to an innovative idea. Blog about who’s making a difference in your community; or on YouTube, share how you made your American Dream come true. No matter where you post, if you use the tag #indivisible, Starbucks will do its part to collect and amplify your voices.

To spark the conversation in our stores, your local Starbucks will proudly serve everyone a free tall hot brewed coffee on the Fourth of July.

Together, we can set a new tone in America. We hope you agree that doing so is a powerful way to celebrate our nation’s birthday.

In 2012, America needs to win the election more than either party does. It is time now to join together as Americans. It is time, whatever our differences, for us to strive and succeed as one nation – indivisible.


Stay Positive & #INDIVISIBLE

Garth E. Beyer