I landed in the Space Coast around the same time that Elon Musk was making wild attempts to recycle rockets at SpaceX. I watched as he failed. And, like the rest of the world, I watched in awe when he succeeded and sent some giant hunks of metal into the atmosphere and brought them back down again — resting them, this time, on a wee little platform in the sea.
And as the sonic boom washed over the high tech corridor, I got chills. Chills to live here during this time when innovators are showing the public sector how it’s done, gripping nay-sayers by the balls and making the impossible possible again — resurrecting a lost era of 1960s inventors, builders, and doers.
What the whole commercial space industry has triggered is a tacit call to action for all innovators to get to work, which is exactly why our team at Trench Media is eager to post this first-ever article and launch our own creative mission connecting experts in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, big data, and mobile cloud technology with a platform to navigate what we like to call “Next Generation Grey Areas.”
The Trench reporting and promotions model has been crafted by the people who create its worth: technical domain experts and best-in-class journalist. Our team is eager to continue to iterate, listen to our audience, and tell more relevant and meaningful stories.
Strengthening a culture of innovation
I spent the past three years connecting early-stage companies with a growing list domain experts at Groundswell Startups. We offered pro bono tools and information to help solve for specific startup problems.
In the first year, nine early-stage investments went to participating startups. More than $1M in private dollars were raised for the nonprofit. Hundreds of innovators were helping to build a living, shared vision for what it meant to uphold the “give first,” Brad Feld startup code in our own community.
This early success was a result of relentless customer discovery. I believe these cultural outcomes can be replicated in any community or organization. The key is to commit to incentivizing and rewarding the people who contribute to the collective worth of that organization or network.
The Secret Sauce: What works
Groundswell had information that no one else bothered to collect: a database of company needs and assets, or a log of cues. We also had journalists on staff who used those cues to develop content and events that solutions-based, or served to solve common gaps. A new habit was formed in the Space Coast when routine newsletter publications and weekly events were used as vehicles to evangelize an authentic narrative on the subject of hyper-relevant industry challenges, opportunities, failures and successes.
Tough cultural realities
Rewards and incentives are often dependent on a lot of factors any small-shop incubator team cannot not possibly control. Depending on an individual’s unique experience in the startup ecosystem, newcomers either experienced reward and felt trust that their expectations were met or experienced no reward, felt that their expectations were not met and, at times, developed a distrust.
This is why much of our work at Trench Media is focused on self-activating communities to the best of our ability. Our mission is to lower the barriers lower than ever before and create a living forum where people are invited to participate to a shared knowledge base. The reward is no-cost, always-on access to peers and influencers. In this sense, Trench is a mega-facilitator of 24/7 forums that take place online and offline.
Our media team enters the trenches with domain experts to uncover high tech stories that do and will affect society. 20 percent of our stories are shamelessly backed by industry leaders seeking increase public awareness on any subject. The other 80 percent are “Trench Select”, or hand-picked by our advisory team made up of media and tech leaders. We are location agnostic, but geographically based in Space Coast, FL and totally biased toward covering space and rockets, yo.
In our quest for context and truth, we refuse black and white coverage and encourage public debate online and offline. We ask that domain experts support us in navigating Next Generation Grey Areas by submitting leads, stories, and suggestions today.
Be prepared to be interviewed. Yes, we’ll make you look good while keeping it real.
While we do our best to be relentlessly anti-hype in our storytelling practices, Trench events are hyper-hype. These innovative experiences leverage new age media to attract unlike crowds of people together to navigate complexity, problem solve, and celebrate what’s next for technology and innovation. Please join us in preparing for a world that doesn’t exist yet.
We look forward to your comments, the public love and the public hate that is ahead for Trench Media. We hope that audiences everywhere will discover a sense of place, opportunities to contribute, and what it’s like to work together to prepare for a world that doesn’t exist yet.
For more, visit www.trenchmedia.co
Jenna Buehler is co-founder and CEO of Trench Media