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The Purpose Project Recipe

Let's take matters into our own hands.

Manoverboard celebrated its 15th anniversary in January. While I’m not big on celebrating business-focused events, I am well aware that this is a milestone.

I’ve reflected upon this anniversary quite a bit, actually. Staying in business for a single year is hard. Doing it for 15 years somehow seems like defeating the odds.

But we did it.

And I’d like to think that the longevity has a little bit to do with giving away work.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive. It might even sound dangerous. But when I started the company in Brooklyn fifteen years ago, the dot-com economy had crashed and, in its wake, I saw an abundance of nonprofit organizations who were in dire need of design and technology services. My goal was to start a business that would help those nonprofits and, on occasion, give the work away for free or at a lower cost. That was the goal.
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I like to think that life is like a marathon, in that everyone races for their own reasons. Sometimes you meet up with fellow runners and other times you come to a fork in the road where you part ways. You must be lead by your inner voice telling you what is important, rather then just finishing the race with the best time or the most calories burned. All of the clients that I have had the privilege to work with at Manoverboard are either focused on causes related to helping community or the environment.

When you are gauging your company’s impact on the lives of inner city youth or the amount of beets you planted in a community garden, it’s not as simple as dollars and cents on a balance sheet. Impact is fluid and often difficult to nail down, but there is a great way to demonstrate your purpose that will leave customers, investors and other stakeholders happy—and that is through an impact report.

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The Casio Challenge

With every new year we tend to assess the many facets of our lives and focus on the things that are not working. This seems to be common with every passing year, so I decided to see how I could curb the amount of time I spent staring into my phone. Even as I write this, I have already been interrupted by the urge to check it.

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Ever dream of shaping the world into a better place? You go looking for a blog about design and sustainability only to find zilch, you feel like a sucker so you go back to just not having dreams? Yeah, it happens to the best of us.

Blogs are a great starting point for staying on top of new sustainability technology, design thinking and innovations…that is IF you can find a good one.

Having to sift through countless lame blogs before finding “the one” can be a huge pain in the keister. Never fear: I have collected 10 sustainable design blogs that I think you’ll love (or at least like).

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Three months ago we proudly launched Serving.Green, our web initiative designed to highlight the impact that the internet has on the environment, and what we can all do to reduce that impact.

Now that the dust has settled a bit, I’d like to say a few words about what we did—from a development standpoint—to make the site as efficient as we could given our design objectives. I’ll be the first to admit that even more could be done, either by sacrificing some parts of the experience or by using techniques of which I’m not yet aware, but below are a few important tips and tricks that we can all do to make our websites more efficient. If you want to reach a digital green Nirvana, this will get you on your path.

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