Making the impossible, possible

Last night at the Berkman Center for Law & Society at Harvard University, model turned innovator Lily Cole, introduced her latest venture “Impossible.” Impossible is a new social media platform with a simple goal and huge potential: to make wishes come true.

The website aims to create a community of people that can guide and give to one another. For free.

Need a photographer? Want to learn Spanish? Looking for a local perspective in a new city? Hoping to talk a problem out? Need someone to shovel your driveway (yep, this is an event in Boston after all)? Wish for it on Impossible.

Cole’s concept stems from the idea that we receive personal reward when we give and help others.  On Impossible, you pay for your wish with gratitude and appreciation. While Impossible has roots in a sharing and gift economy, it’s foundation is a feel good one.  Warm and fuzzies is its currency; altruism is its bank.

And while the panel (who included Jonathan Zittrain, Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the World Wide Web), Judith Donath & Rosemary Leith) raised concerns of trolls and coercion, the consensus is you can kill with kindness (Zittrain points out how Wikipedia handles its trolls by thanking them).
Cole’s eloquence, commitment and enthusiasm is inspiring and the project is without a doubt, impressive.

Optimists can sign up at

I just created my account and I’ll happily help shovel your driveway.
Mission possible.

4 Takeaways from Bill Warner’s talk, “Build Your Start Up from the Heart,” at Harvard University’s innovation lab

Warnerimage via Abby Fichter, @HackerChick

Turn off your head engine! That’s what Bill Warner advised to b-school students and aspiring local entrepreneurs at an event at the Harvard University’s innovation lab on Tuesday night.  His talk was about how to follow your heart rather than your head when growing your business.  As founder of Avid and Wildfire, Warner learned what it’s like to run business from both sides but he found that when you create from the heart, anything is possible (he went so far to say that we all have superhero potency when we are in that place).

Mr Warner shared 4 golden rules to redirect the head (that left-brain noise) to the heart (the right-brain chatter) for business success.

1) When you want to say no, say “that doesn’t feel right to me.”

We’ve all been in meetings or heard ideas and suggestions that we instinctually want to shut down.  By saying no to something, you immediately turn off dialogue.  The statement “it doesn’t feel right to me” opens the conversation to the heart instead of the head.   Warner contended that this is a great way to open conversation – responses to that question are almost always “why?” You can get to the negative in a positive and productive way.

2) Instead of making declarative statements, change it to “I believe that”

Warner contends declarative statements are commanding, controlling and are a projection of power.

Warned compared these two statements:

“don’t make declarative statements.”


“I believe that declarative statements are controlling [or insert whatever reason here why].”

See the difference? Stating your beliefs puts you the heart into your conversation and mindset.

3) When framing your business, think of it in terms of how you intend to help people.

Talk and think about how you intend to help your people.  Understanding your intention is understanding your heart.

4) You can’t use big words

Warner advises to stick to words a first grader uses. Language needs to be timeless and kept simple. By thinking about your business in a universal way, you can get to the heart of the business idea rather than get lost in left-brain logic.  Warner says you need to get rid of left-brain words and tap the timeless ones that go straight to the heart.

Do you tend to over think things instead of following your heart in business? Do you have any tip to re-direct conversation?  I’d love to hear!

For more advice from Bill Warner, follow him on Twitter at @billwarner

To find out about the Harvard Innovation Lab and other public events they host,  visit their website.

Questions? Comments?  Please email me at   Do you have a success story you’d like to share?  I am always looking for interesting people to feature here and elsewhere (like the Social Media Club and Young Women In Digital – two blogs I contribute to)