A few years ago, I started what is now known as X-Culture.
That simple idea, unexpectedly, but not without tens of thousands of hours of work, has become something big – and continues to grow.
Big not only in terms of the number of people it is affecting – and that number has long been in tens of thousands.
X-Culture has the potential to transform several industries.
It was originally envisioned as merely as an experiential learning exercise in cross-cultural collaboration for students.
Must have been the right idea at the right time. It is already changing the way International Business is taught at hundreds of universities around the world. Real cross-cultural experience. Real international business clients. Judging by our numerous awards, we’re already impacting this industry.
However, X-Culture is becoming a game-changer in several other areas.
It is already a unique virtual research lab. Unprecedented by its size and versatility. Hundreds of real GVTs and thousands of people working on real projects for real clients. Observed, measured, and experimented on in every possible way. Great for studying anything teams, international, crowdsourcing, problem solving.
It is also emerging as a platform, or rather platforms:
- Where data are openly shared and large-scale collaboration transforms how research is done (Industry: IB research. Pilots: WikiDemix, Research Hackathons)
- Where a global crowd solves complex problems for business clients and is likely to be capable of competing with traditional consulting companies soon (Industry: Business consulting. Pilots: X-Culture Consulting Network, X-Culture MVP Prize)
- Where aspiring grad students and professors meet and exchange assistantship for mentorship, skills, and recommendations (Industry: No idea how to call it, think Airbnb for TAs. Pilot: VirtualTA)
And I am not even talking about the X-Culture Coaching Program, X-Culture Alumni Association, and X-Culture Kids and Teens programs.
All of this is emerging naturally and very fast. All of this is very overwhelming and demanding.
So many ideas with the potential to change the world. So many decisions to make. So many balls to juggle. Virtually no resources.
Most startups that set out to change the world fail (92% per this study https://goo.gl/Z8cEdu). We’re fully aware of the stats.
But our chances are likely greater than 8%.
First, we’re already doing very well in some areas (education) and have successfully tested MPVs in others (research, consulting, virtual TAs).
Second, we already have a big initial crowd, which is a huge deal in the platform business.
Third, we’re already self-sufficient. Past the valley of death.
Fourth, we’re testing a variety of programs and that adds up the chances of at least one succeeding.
Firth, even if nothing works, we’ll have done some great research, published tons of papers, and paved the way for the next generation of world changers.
This blog is where we will be describing our everyday challenges, thinking, decisions, and mistakes.
There will be no “10 Life Hacks”, no “One Weird Trick to Make Tons of Money in One Week”, no motivational quotes and funny memes.
Only detailed honest descriptions of what we’re dealing with, plus some history and reflections.
I hope for two things from this blog:
(1) That writing it down will help us see a clearer picture and make better decisions.
(2) That putting it out there, we’ll get feedback and advice from you. Two heads are better than one. Two thousand heads are better than two.
If we succeed at changing the world, you’ll read here how we’ve done it.
If we fail, you’ll learn from our mistakes and do a better job when you are ready to change the world.