Tag Archives: dave veneski

Thank You, Intel

30th September 2009

Today is the last day of Intel’s Sponsors of Tomorrow Campaign on Mighty Girl. I can hardly express how grateful I am to the Intel team, and how blessed I am to have all of you guys supporting me.

A quick recap of everything Intel has made possible in the last few months. Together, we:

1. Redesigned Mighty Girl, (with a little help from Helen Jane).

2. Took tap lessons from Mr. Kloss.

inteltap

3. Swam with bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico.

biobay

4. Got a little closer to tasting 1,000 fruits.

starfruit

5. Had an exceptional time in Greece.

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6. Had dinner at the French Laundry.

intellamps

7. Hosted a giant food fight.

intelfoodfight

8. Learned to roll in a kayak.

intelkayak

9. Rejected paragliding as a hobby.

intelparaglide

10. Zip-lined through a canopy.

intelzip

Because the campaign let me make my life list a top priority, I even tackled a bunch of goals on my own. We took Hank camping, played with sparklers on the Fourth of July, and introduced him to ice cream cones. I did one of Miranda July’s projects. And I even got a few friends together to help me plan a retreat.

How Did this Happen?

A lot of you have asked me how I got Intel to sponsor my Mighty Life List, and the answer is I didn’t. These guys did.

paigepicjasondave

That’s Paige Thomas, Jason Ratner, and David Veneski. Paige and Jason work for Federated Media — the company that helped make blogging my job. David works for Intel, the company that made my dreams my job.

I talk to Paige nearly every day, and about a year ago I asked her to tell the sales team about my list. Ideas like this can easily come across as “some blogger wants free stuff,” but Jason understood. He told David, and showed me some of the ads around Sponsors of Tomorrow. I thought the main ideas were in line with my values: Celebrating smart people, and embracing the future.

David eventually agreed to have Intel sponsor my life list, which was bold of him, I think. Intel is a huge company with a lot at stake, and most companies of that size want full approval over any text that goes out. That clearly would never work for Mighty Girl, so David decided to trust me, which must have been scary at first.

When we first started the campaign, Matt Jessell at FM sent me this Brady Bunch collage to pin on my board:

bradysmall

It cracked me up when I first got it, and it still does, but now it makes me a little sentimental too. This is the team behind the Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign — most of them have made their own life lists, some have become Twitter friends, and all of them played a part in changing the way I approach my life. I owe them my gratitude.

What Happens Next?

Y’all, I am going to sleep. I had no idea how much I was biting off, or how much emotion I’d feel through all of it.

It may sound cheesy, but these few months have been transformative, and change takes a lot of energy. Doing all this has helped me clarify what makes me happy, and reminded me to be more gentle with myself. I understand now that a list like this requires flexibility, and writing about all of it has shown me that I can be comically rigid. It honestly came as an epiphany that I could change my own list — add new things, delete the things that just didn’t seem appealing when I actually started tackling them.

I’ve also learned so much about all of you. That you want to travel, be role models, buy homes, start businesses. I love reading your lists, and I’m still thinking about a better way for us to work on them together.

While I sleep for a year or so, Paige will be building a succulent wall; Jason is figuring out how to found bed and breakfasts for snowboarders, cyclists and vinophiles; and David wants to write a book. I’ll let you know how they do.

In the meantime, thank you, everyone. For all of it.