Mindsharing Book Launch US Tour
June 10, 2015
by LIOR ZOREF @lior
April 27th – Philadelphia
Yesterday I went into the Barnes & Nobel Fifth Avenue store and asked the nice sales assistant at the counter, “Do you have a book called Mindsharing?”
He searched and answered, “Is this from the author Lior Zoref?”
I replied, “Yes.”
Then he said, “Of course. It should arrive in two days, on the day it’s being published.”
I wanted to enthusiastically tell him “It’s my book!” but was too embarrassed.
Tomorrow is the official launch date and today I’m starting my launch tour in Philly. It’s my first time here and it looks beautiful.
I had 3 lectures and 1 radio interview.
The first lecture was to a group of business leaders at the Israeli consulate. I learned about the challenge to engage with minorities, the tropical fruits business and other business challenges in the region.
After that I was invited by Dr. Michael F. Smith to Temple University to give a talk at the Fox Business School.
I must admit that I’m still embarrassed when I see signs such as this one.
I had an amazing time talking to a group of about 300 very creative and enthusiastic students.
After this talk Dr. Smith invited two students to have lunch with us and we had a fascinating discussion about the role of new media in shaping the career of graduating students. I shared with them how it took me years to understand that my blog is the driving force behind my career success.
After that I had an interview with Birtan Collier from WRDV-FM radio station. This was another fascinating discussion as she prepared more than 30 questions.
On my way to the next session, I had a chance to see some of Philly’s historical buildings such as Independence Hall. Beautiful.
The last event for the day was a writers and bloggers event. They asked many questions about how Mindsharing could help solve regional conflicts and shape a better democracy.
At end of the day I had a lovely dinner with Deputy Consul General of Israel in Philadelphia Elad Strohmayer and his partner Oren Ben-Yosef. I learned how social media helps diplomats do their work much more effectively.
Elad and Oren, thank you for creating such a wonderful first day at the book tour.
April 28th – Happy Publication Date – New York
After an early morning radio interview at WNPV-AM, I took the train and arrived in Manhattan for a very special day, Mindsharing’s publication day.
I started the day giving a keynote at Landmark’s CIO Summit at the beautiful Time Warner building. Most speakers talked about things such as big data, agile development and cloud computing. I talked about dreams! I was happy to see how senior executives weren’t afraid to laugh and get inspired.
From there, I stopped by the same Barnes & Nobel store I visited two days ago. This time I had the courage to introduce myself as Mindsharing’s author.
The store manager smiled and invited me to sign the copies of my book. It’s hard to explain how special it feels to sign my own book for the first time in a book store.
Then I went to give another talk at Outbrain’s HQ. Outbrain is an amazing and very successful Israeli startup in the area of online advertising and marketing. I was happy to see everyone thrilled about Outbrain’s upcoming IPO.
The last by but no means the least event of the day was Mindsharing’s book launch party hosted by IAC NY.
It’s hard for me to express in words just how magical this event was, so I’ll share a few pictures with you instead.
The wonderful team at Portfolio Penguin was kind enough to give free books to everyone. Signing 150 copies was a great pleasure.
Thank you Ron Deutch, Sharon Eyni and everyone at IAC for an amazing evening.
I felt grateful that my wife Ayala and my daughter Maya were with me at this magical experience.
April 29th – New York
Today I was joined by Danny Deutch. Danny is a dear friend and the executive producer of ‘Mindsharing – the documentary’ which we’re starting to film today.
We started the day at Jeff Pulver’s breakfast event in my honor. Jeff is one of the masters of crowdsourcing (see how he lost more than 100 pounds using crowdsourcing at his TEDx talk here).
From there I went for a short video recording at the American Management Association (AMA), where I spoke about bottom-up leadership.
We had a wonderful dinner with our friend, author and creative genius Gideon Amichay. He took us to eat ‘the best hamburger ever’ at Hillstone.
April 30th – New York
After eating that burger last night, we started the day running in Central Park. For those of you who enjoy running, Central Park is one of the most inspiring running locations in the world. We got so much energy just from looking at Manhattan’s skyline while running.
I’ve spent a few hours sending answers to reporters. Getting new questions for the first time from someone who read the book is very gratifying.
Then we went to Columbia University to give a talk to science and business school students.
There’s no better time than fall in New York. Flower bloom everywhere.
That was a fun lecture with so many interesting questions from one of the smartest groups I’ve ever presented to. Thank you Rel Fogel for hosting us.
One of the students told me he was from Iran. He was proud to mention that his best friend was from Israel. They were both sitting smiling together.
We went for dinner in Williamsburg New Jersey with an amazing sunset view of Manhattan. I took this panoramic picture with my phone (click on it to zoom in).
May 1st – New York
On our way to deliver a talk at the Israeli consulate, we passed near the UN building.
Danny said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to get inside the general assembly hall and stand on the podium?”
I said, “There’s no chance of that happening!”
We moved on and arrived at the Israeli consulate. Standing behind the Israeli flag, as an Israeli in New York, this talk felt very special. We talked about how crazy and amazing Manhattan is, and how’s it’s the perfect place to try new things and find new dreams.
People laughed, cried and were hopefully inspired to go after their dreams.
I also told them that I’d just went near the UN building and wanted to get in but couldn’t.
At the end of the talk, someone from the audience who works at the UN (Meirav) came to me and asked, “Do you want to go on a tour inside the UN with me?”
20 minutes later, I was standing on the podium inside the general assembly hall.
From there we went to the Security Council and I declared that Mindsharing is an important book. No one listened 🙂 But it was fun anyway!
It reminded me once again of the power of crowdsourcing and the power of mindsharing when done in front of live audience too.
Later on I was walking near the New York Public Library. Whenever I’m near a book store or a library, I’m intrigued to see if they have a copy of Mindsharing. So I entered and asked the librarian “Do you have Mindsharing?”
She did a quick search, smiled and said, “Yes we do. Do you want to see it?”
Then she smiled and took me towards the library entrance where Mindsharing was on display.
Once again I felt this magical feeling of being a little boy who barely believes what he sees.
May 2nd – New York
Today I went to have an interview with Jeff Pulver. Jeff shared his view on how crowdsourcing is part of what makes us human, about his struggle to lose weight and recover from surgery using crowdsourcing.
Then Jeff said: “You know what? There’s one song which describes what crowdsourcing really is and how it can help anyone makes their dream come true.”
“Which song?” I asked.
He replied, “Sweet Dreams” and started to read the lyrics:
Sweet dreams are made of these
Everybody’s looking for something.
Some of them want to use you.
Some of them want to be used by you.
Some of them want to abuse you.
Some of them want to be abused
May 3rd – Boston
Today we left NY and headed towards Boston. But before leaving this amazing city, I rented a bike and went all the way to downtown while I watched the Hudson River and New York’s skyline.
Then we took the train from Penn station to Boston. 3.5 hours in which I had time to reflect on the last few days.
After arriving, I took a quick shower, had an amazing dinner at a friend’s house (Iftach Wizel) and went to deliver a talk at IAC Boston.
What an amazing evening this was. I felt as if it was a stand-up comedy show. The audience laughed and gave me so much love.
May 4th – Boston
I started the day delivering a talk at Trip Advisor HQ. Trip Advisor changed the way we travel and is one of the forces that has disrupted the travel industry using the power of crowdsourcing.
We had a very interesting discussion about how to motivate big crowds to write reviews and how to use crowdsourcing in order to spot manipulation.
From there we went to another place which is very close to my heart – MIT Media Lab. This is the Mecca of the tech world.
I was fortunate to have a 5-hour tour around the lab meeting amazing researchers, discussing the future of crowdsourcing while taking a peek into future technologies.
Then I delivered a talk in front of the Lab’s faculty and we had a very interesting discussion about crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence.
From there we rushed to the last talk of the day at Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC).
At the end of the talk people could buy the book.
These two lovely people came and asked me to sign one copy of my book. They didn’t know each other before my talk and were interested in each other’s questions, so they decided to buy one copy of the book together in order to stay in touch. They asked me to sign it for both of them 🙂
May 5th – Traveling from Boston to San Francisco
Today we took a long flight (6.5 hours) from Boston to San Francisco.
In San Francisco we were joined by the documentary film directors – Danny Menkin and Yonatan Nir.
When we arrived at our hotel, the receptionist said: “I’m very sorry but we’re fully booked. This is why we wish to offer you a free upgrade to the Fairmont hotel just across the street!”
The Fairmont is the most beautiful hotel in San Francisco and were so happy.
My dear friend Gil Peretz invited us all to dinner at his house in Palo Alto. We had an amazing evening with new and old friends.
May 6th – San Francisco
Today I delivered a talk to a group of entrepreneurs at WeWork Golden Gate.
From there we went to shoot videos at the Golden Gate and in Sausalito. When the documentary is released, you’ll be able to see one of the deepest and most emotional conversations I’ve ever had with my childhood friend Ori Eisen.
May 7th – Mountain View
I started the day with a Skype call with my sweet daughter, Maya.
Then we all went to Google Campus in Mountain View.
Here we were joined by two amazing people – my literary agent Doug Abrams (on my left), and my partner in writing Mindsharing, Lara Love Hardin (on my right).
I had the opportunity to give an ‘Authors @ Google’ talk which was recorded and will be shared on YouTube soon.
From there we took a 4-minute ride just across the street towards LinkedIn HQ, where I had the opportunity to speak to LinkedIn employees. One of their VPs told me that when LinkedIn was founded, when Reid Hoffman, the founder, explained what LinkedIn was all about in order to raise VC money, he said that it was a crowdsourcing platform for professionals.
From there we moved to JCC Palo Alto to deliver the last talk of this busy day.
This was one of the most emotional talks I’ve ever gave. The audience gave me so much love and it felt a little like my Bar Mitzva 🙂
May 8th – Palo Alto
Today we all went to Facebook HQ. Gil Hirsh, my dear friend, showed us around.
I left a copy of the book for Mark Zuckerberg. I hope he’ll find it interesting.
From there we went to Stanford University to have a recap meeting and discuss the next phase of the documentary.
May 9th – Bay Area
Today I’ve spent quality time with one of my best friends, Eran Arbel, who lives here.
He took me to Silicon Valley’s favorite book store, Books Inc. He looked for my book, and here it was…
In the evening I gave a talk in Pleasanton to a local group from the local Jewish community. I learned about the famous Jewish quote: “Who is wise? He who learns from all men” (Pirkei Avos) which describes the essence of crowdsourcing.
May 10th – Travelling from SFO to DC
Today I went to the airport. My flight to DC was delayed for a couple of hours so I walked around the terminal. I was happy to see Mindsharing at the terminal book store.
A short Skype call with my family. I miss them so much!
5 hours later I landed in Washington DC for the final part of this journey.
May 11th – Washington DC
I started the day by renting a city bike and going through all the beautiful monuments.
I went back to my hotel, the Washington DC JW Marriott. I had 30 minutes to take a quick shower before an interview at NPR.
I was trying to get into my room but the door didn’t open. I am an experienced traveler and know that this happens from time to time. I tried changing keycards but the door still didn’t open.
I called security and after 5 more minutes a special police officer came. He wasn’t able to open the door either, so he went to get a computer and connected it to the door. Another 10 minutes passed by and he called another colleague. Both of them tried over and over, but they couldn’t open the door
I must admit that by that time, after about 20-25 minutes, I was nervous as I was about to miss my deadline for the interview.
Then the two security officers called maintenance and asked them to break the door down.
Well… they drilled the door and to everyone’s surprise – they still couldn’t open it!
This is what it looked like:
After 40 minutes (!!!) they managed to break the door, Bruce Lee style.
I changed clothes and ran like crazy to get a taxi. I arrived to the NPR building late and ashamed.
I was lucky that the host was also late and we could start the interview for NPR’s Tech Nation with Dr. Moira Gunn. You can listen to this interview here.
From there I went to deliver a talk the Israeli Embassy. No pictures are allowed from inside this building for security reasons. It was a very special experience.
May 12th – Last day – Washington DC
Today I had a meeting with Genn Gustetic, the head of open innovation at the White House.
We talked about the role of crowdsourcing in solving humanity’s biggest challenges. The White House and different government agencies initiated more than 400 crowdsourcing activities in the last 5 years.
What an amazing way to finish my book tour.
On my way to the airport, I spotted the Library of Congress.
I asked the librarian to look for Mindsharing and… It was there!
On my way to the airport, I saw this sign.
There isn’t a better quote that can express my feeling at the end of this amazing book tour.
The moment at which your dream becomes reality is a very special moment. I feel so grateful to have had this opportunity, and to have such an amazing crowd of thousands of people who were with me and helped create Mindsharing and shared so much love with me during this tour.
I am as good as my crowd.
Thank you all.