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Changemakrs From Strange And Not So Strange Places

No secret that it takes inspiration to launch a startup. So perhaps it’s only fitting then that at some point at least one startup’s inspiration would be: inspiration. Who can’t use another dose of inspiration? We all like inspiration. We never get tired of inspiration. And apparently inspiration has a very short shelf life, because we’re searching constantly for new sources of motivation, spirit lighting, synapse-firing accelerators.




He Continues to Inspire

And who has been more inspiring than Steve Jobs the last few years? Whether inspiring controversy, the satirical bite of South Park animators (look for the human-centipad episode) or the ambition of countless tech teams, he’s been the man. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that a single-serving site, offering quotes from Steve Jobs, quickly exploded last May.


Visit the page and you find a tranquil looking, young Steve Jobs seated in a lamp-lit room. Refresh the page and the Steve Jobs oracle provides another inspiring quote. Sounds too simple.



Yet over 2 million people visited the site in the first 48 hours it went live. The 3 million mark fell shortly after. Only the music video release “Be My Baby” by the Wonder Girls has come close to generating such a rapid initial following. There’s been nothing like it’s out-of-the blue-kind. To think–I deleted an excerpt of a Steve Jobs quote from a Harvard commencement speech from a transcript recently, because I feared it might be overplayed. Silly Me. Here’s another memorable quote Steve gave us:


“Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.”


The Road to Ôm

Friday May18th, 2012, might be remembered best for the Facebook IPO hoopla. Time will tell. Bored by the repetitive news, was a hack meant to amuse and reinvigorate a startup team. Four young men and women, Matthias Wagner, Sacha Tueni, Chloë Bregman, and BC Broussard were busy at work on Zerobird, an app designed to simplify reading Twitter news. It didn’t hurt that they had Steve Jobs biography in their subconscious after listening to an audio recording during a road trip to the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin, Texas. A moment of boredom, a need for a spark, and voila…


What’s Next?

No one foresaw the immense popularity of The same team of engineers has since launched three more sites spouting cultural founts of inspiration: Yoda (, Albert Einstein (, and Mark Zuckerberg (



Warning! If you are a freelance writer on the clock and with deadlines fast approaching, view these sites on your own personal time.


The team’s new initiative is Changemakrs. “Join us to help inspire the world,” the webpage invites. They’re taking requests! For now visitors will have to settle for the images of iconic figures like Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon, Nelson Mandela and others.



Where will this all go? How will the young lads and ladies translate interest into a valuable site? Let’s see if they follow through with Zerobird or if fades like the dodo. Just how does one capitalize on inspiration?


Do what you do do well boys and girls. Lift us all.


Photo and Video Credits / / /

Author : Keith Liles

Keith Liles is a freelance writer who loves travel, music, wine, hiking, poetry, and just about everything. He practices saying "yes" to life vigorously, rehearsing for the phone call when he's asked to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Follow Keith on Twitter @KPLiles.

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