I'm the Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. We launch undiscovered consumer products. It's also the birthplace of Citizen Commerce. I write about design, cultural anthropology, and start-ups, mostly.

Relax, Relocate, Reinvent: New Year’s Resolutions

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This piece was kindly posted on Boston.com by the journalist Michael Morisy.  He asked tech people about their New Year’s resolutions.  In the piece I make a pitch to relocate Daily Grommet as a sublet tenant to a bigger company that has spare space.  (On the Red Line in Somerville, Cambridge, Boston)  I haven’t had any takers–yet!

I’d really appreciate it if you could forward this post, or the Boston.com article.  I have a real estate broker (so please, no sales pitches for those services)  but brokers don’t typically cover sublets, so I am on my own for this search.

Hi Michael,

Hmmm. Where to begin? I have so many plans for 2013. In no particular order:

Continue company-sponsored yoga. Like the people at many startups, our team is at risk of turning into hard-shelled beetles with our many hours hunched over our laptops. I was thrilled when one of our ops team members got her yoga teacher to start showing up Wednesday evenings at our offices, just for three weeks in December. There is no excuse for skipping class when it comes to you. I plan to institutionalize this program in 2013. Deep tissue massages are next …

Get a big company that wants to be around unbridled startup energy to sublease unused (but cool) space to Grommet. Our business is highly visual, physical, and understandable because we produce media for public consumption everyday when we launch a new product at noon. We could inject great energy into the offices of a larger organization. At Grommet we are currently spread across a three-building campus right in Lexington center. It’s actually pretty great to have a full range of food choices and town services right at our doorstep. And I love that I have to go outside many times a day to see my colleagues. But, the commute is hard on our city-dwellers and, as cohesive as we are, I think it would be better to be able to see each other in the same space every day. We are looking to move to Somerville, Cambridge, or Boston on the Red Line. Any of your readers interested in housing this fun, super-attractive, and friendly team? 🙂 We bring homemade baked goods with the deal, and a daily influx of hot undiscovered consumer products ripe for testing by our hosts.

Get the Boston tech crowd in on the 3-D revolution. I don’t mean 3-D printing, although that is a part of it. We have been working for four years to get the tech crowd to understand how much entrepreneurial energy is currently diverting from software development into physical products. Until recently when I mentioned RocketHub, Kickstarter, or IndieGoGo in Boston I got blank stares. Now I am trying to get people to see that the really interesting business models still forming are the ones that help all those crowd-funded products actually get to scale. Time is death to those young companies. We need to build businesses to derisk them for real mass distribution and adoption. This is a real chance to reshape the face of business around the kind of companies and values we want to support, collectively. It’s like the 1960’s but better! I call this Citizen Commerce, BTW. We trademarked that term, to describe this movement to finally level the playing field for the best companies and products to win, not just the biggest ones

Good luck with this series. I love the idea.

Jules

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