Citizen Media Watch

december 29th, 2008

Teo Härén about: Invite, collaborate and share – the money

Posted by Gitta Wilen

The twin brothers Fredrik and Teo Härén have been writing books about creativity for many years now. Five books so far and more coming up. This is a conversation with Teo about inviting, collaborating, sharing ideas and the money.

Fredrik och Teo started the idea book project about eight, nine years ago. They wrote the first book by themselves. But the business idea for is to invite people outside the organization, to collaborate, be creative and solve problems.

The first book they wrote by inviting people to contribute with material was the Idea book for parents.

– We had ideas that we wanted to be in the book, but we did also invite 10 000 people that we did have e-mail addresses to. And told then that we are going to write a book about how to keep children’s creativity alive as a parent. If you have any ideas that could be in the book please write us, Teo says.

They did also promise to pay the contributors whose material that was chosen to be in book.

– If someone gives us something that we can use, we are also paying them. That is our belief, Teo say.

They did pay 150 euros for each story. It could be a short one, like only one sentence, but they did still pay them 150 euros.

Fredrik and Teo have recently launched a book about creative service and they went about it the same way, but now the network has grown into about 20 000 people.

– We also asked our old customers, clients, their clients and through media. We told them we are writing this book, we have these ideas, but we want everyone else who have ideas about creative service to join us, please send in ideas, Teo say.

Half of the Idea Book for Parents is made up of contributed material, but the

Teo thinks it is a great way to write books.

– Most of our books in the future will definitely be written in this way. It has to be better. It will be better. It can’t be worse, could it? You will ask tens of thousands of people. And of course they will contribute and give ideas that you didn’t think of yourself, Teo says.

Fredrik and Teo are keeping the e-mail addresses to every buyer of their books. Which enables them to contact every buyer of their previous books, who already knows their work, and invite then to contribute with material to their future books.

– We are also thinking about using that concept by asking our existing readers, as authors, and ask them what kind of book they do want us to write. Us, being me and my twin brother and all our readers.

Fredrik and Teo do see them selves as authors with a community of readers.

Watch the rest of the conversation:

This conversation did take place the day after an interesting event at Teo’s place at Älvkarleö Bruk – a TED Talk Weekend. I did manage to catch him right after the breakfast coffee and talk about stuff we care about here at Citizen Media Watch – user generated content.

If you choose to watch the whole conversation, you will hear Teo talk about why they are going to put their e-mail address on every page in the book, why they choose to print their books, their plan about making it the most translated book in the world – by a living author.

He also talks about how it is to work together as brothers. Teo shows a book and one of the different ways you can use it. And finally some stuff about and their business model sharing ideas and endorse creativity.

Watch the whole conversation with Teo Härén. [part one + part two]

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